The nutrition of all and especially athletes should be perfect, balanced, varied and consistent. People who lose calories during training need more protein, carbohydrates and vitamins to temporarily repair muscles than those who play sports or limit themselves to light.
Height, weight, race, and sports nutrition should also take into account athletes. Therefore the diet should be combined with a teacher and nutritionist. That said, there are some general rules to be followed to ensure that every athlete eats well in the gym and achieves new goals.
- Fractional meals at least 4 times a day
- The abundance of proteins, fiber and carbohydrates in the diet
- High-calorie menu
- Eating no later than 1.5-2 hours before the start of the workout
- Diet cycle according to training intensity
It is these principles that make it possible to generate a nutritional system that performs the main tasks of sports nutrition:
- Replenishment of energy costs
- Saturation of the body with vitamins and trace elements.
- Increasing sports performance
- Ensuring rapid recovery of muscle tissue
- Replenishment of glycogen stores in the blood and liver
Full replenishment of energy costs
To fully replenish your energy costs, a high-calorie diet is essential. In addition, caloric intake is essential to ensure muscle gain, so an athlete’s daily caloric intake should be between 2,000 and 4,000 calories, depending on the weight, gender, and age of exercise intensity. In some cases, most often in professional sports, the daily caloric content rises to 6,000 kcal or more, but this should not be done without consulting a dietitian.
To increase your caloric content, you need to add slower carbohydrates to your diet. On the day of training, add about 800 kcal to your diet to replenish the energy expended during training, and if you gain weight, up to 1,200 kcal. The formula for calculating calories is simple: at least 30 kcal per kilogram of body weight. At the same time, carbohydrates should be 3-4 g per kilogram or more, protein 2-3 g, and fat 1-2 g.
The athlete’s body also needs a high vitamin content to regenerate. To get enough, you need to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Protein is also essential for the rapid regeneration and growth of muscle tissue. Animal protein can be obtained not only from meat, but also from cottage cheese, eggs, sea fish, and vegetable protein from legumes and cereals. Some athletes also use protein for this purpose. However, it should be remembered that protein shakes do not replace a protein diet in any way, but complement it.
The increased amount of carbohydrates also helps to replenish glycogen stores, which directly affects training performance: it is recommended to consume up to 60% of the daily requirement just before training. If training takes place in the evening, then the amount of carbohydrates can be reduced to 40-50%, because the intensity of glycogen uptake in the evening decreases due to the specificity of changes in the daily metabolism. However, in any case, it is consumed first, so the lack of glycogen negatively affects strength and endurance, and thus the effectiveness of training.
All of this is only a superficial overview of the requirements for complete sports nutrition. In order to follow all of them and eat well during intense physical exertion, you need to study more than one scientific study and spend a lot of time devising a diet, choosing, buying and preparing products.