The Athlete's Diet
An athlete's diet should be similar to that recommended for the general public, with energy intake divided into:
more than 55 per cent from carbohydrates
about 12 to 15 per cent from protein
less than 30 per cent from fat.
Athletes who exercise strenuously for more than 60 to 90 minutes every day may need to increase the amount of energy they get from carbohydrates to between 65 and 70 per cent.
More recent advice also provides guidelines for carbohydrate and protein based on grams per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight. These currently sit between 1.2 - 1.6 x kg/bodyweight. Example: A 60kg Athlete who trains 4+ times per week including strength and conditioning would benefit from consuming between 72g - 96g of protein per day.
The current recommendations for fat intake are for most athletes to follow similar recommendations to those given for the general community, with the preference for fats coming from olive oils, nuts, avocado, nuts and seeds. Athletes should also aim to minimise intake of high-fat foods such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, chips and fried foods.
- Good nutrition can enhance sporting performance.
- A well-planned, nutritious diet should meet most of an athlete's vitamin and mineral needs, and provide enough protein to promote muscle growth and repair.
- Foods rich in unrefined carbohydrates, like wholegrain breads and cereals, should form the basis of the diet.
- Water is a great choice of fluid for athletes to help performance and prevent dehydration.
To find out more on Athlete dietary reccomendations visit the Better Health Channel HERE