What is the Best Diet for an Athlete to Follow?
In order to get the energy and nutrients needed for your body to exercise at a high level, you need a healthy and structured diet.
There are so many diets out there, that figuring out what the best diet is for an athlete to follow, can seem like an impossible question to answer. Well do not worry. If you have questions about this topic, we are here to answer them.
What is a healthy diet?
When we talk about the best diet for an athlete, we are not talking about a harsh diet that can endanger your health. Every athlete needs to be able to feed him or herself correctly and consistently.
Sometimes, it can be easy to make the mistake of eating less than we should, in order to lose weight faster. But this can actually achieve the opposite effect of what you want. Your muscles can weaken, your body will not be 100 per cent ready for exercise, and your mood can quickly deteriorate. This can be a fatal combination for any athlete.
The healthiest and best diet for an athlete should contain the following:
- A correct amount of protein. Protein is very important, whether you work out or not. However, if you do work out constantly, protein is particularly important since it nourishes your muscles and gives you the energy you need.
- Carbohydrates. Although there are many diets that eliminate them, carbs are necessary for your body because when you exercise, they will be some of the first nutrients to burn and transform into energy, giving way for protein to do its job.
- Vitamins. The vitamins that you get from fruits and vegetables are essential to maintaining a good state of well-being, a good appearance, and a healthy interior.
- Fats. Yes, fats are necessary too! That is, you must eat unsaturated and natural fats. There are many foods that provide healthy fats for your body that will allow you to lose weight, tone your muscles, and stay in shape.
Once you have introduced these nutrients into your diet, the question arises: how much of each item should you eat in one day?
The best diet for an athlete
Within these groups, there are some foods that are best to eat and some that you should reject. Let’s see what these are:
- Fish. All kinds of fresh white and blue fish. Forget dry or canned fish, which have unnecessary chemicals and fats, usually saturated.
- Meats. Although white meats are better than red meats, the latter can still be consumed in moderation. Forget lamb and pork, as both contain too many unhealthy fats for your body.
- Cereals and nuts. Both are a very healthy way of giving the body the nutrients it needs. Avoid bread, and do not eat too many pasta dishes, because you will only gain weight as they usually provide far more calories than necessary.
- Dairy products. These products, along with eggs, form one of the most important protein sources that your body needs. Aim for the dairy to be decanted, because it can carry some fats, that whilst natural, are still not healthy.
In order to enjoy all the benefits from these foods, try to eat five times a day. This can also help to accelerate your metabolism. Also, divide your plate into at least three parts.
The biggest part should be full of vitamins. The second biggest should contain proteins and the smallest should have carbohydrates, which can come in the form of cereals, nuts, or legumes.
Fats, even if they are healthy, should be consumed in the morning. This way, you will have the whole day to burn them and turn them into energy that you will need during the day. And of course, do not forget to hydrate yourself with water and isotonic drinks. This is vital for staying in shape.