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Nutritional Information For Athletes Of All Levels

390606540_9c27386ad7_zDid you know that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? Here are some tips for keeping your athletes healthy:

Food Sources

Carbohydrates

Carbs are broken down into glucose, which gives us energy. Bananas are a good source of glucose and can be eaten half an hour before an event, as it releases glucose quickly. A few days before a major event, it is a good idea to load up on carbs. This would include things like potatoes, pasta, bread and rice. To sustain your energy whilst working out, keep your body replenished with plenty of water, carbs and minerals. Multivitamin fruit juices will keep you going, as well as water will keep you hydrated.

Proteins

Protein bars and shakes are not the only way to get your protein. Yes they are quick for when you’re on the go, but sometimes they contain a lot of fat as well. It’s better to have proteins in the form of beans, pulses, quorn, eggs and milk. Nuts can be eaten on the go and although they are high in fats, they have good fats that the body needs. Also if you don’t want to bulk up and have huge muscles, then the above proteins won’t do that. Whey protein can be blended with fruits or vegetables to make a smoothie. This can also be drank on the go too and whey protein doesn’t bulk you up.

If you wish to bulk up please consult your doctor first. It is a slow process, there is no quick fix. The approximate amount of protein an athlete needs is 1.6 to 1.7 grams per kilo of their body weight per day. Have a raw egg in a glass of milk every day. This not only keeps one healthy but can help to build muscle.

Caffeine

Caffeine not only helps to wake a person up, but can help burn more calories and stimulate the mind and muscles. This means your muscles can work harder for longer and your concentration is improved. However, too much caffeine can make you hyper and give you headaches. Try a small amount first then if need be, increase it. Try two to three cups of green tea a day, or if you prefer two to three cups of coffee a day, especially if you are doing high endurance exercise. Avoid energy drinks because they only temporarily give energy and they are not good for your body. Again please consult with your doctor as to how much caffeine you can take.

Exercise

Exercises that are more likely to build muscle include weightlifting, using resistance bands, squats, lunges, pushups and situps. The slower you do each exercise, the stronger your muscles become.

Keep your electrolytes up while working out. For example, diluted sports drinks will have the electrolytes you need.

Start off with a weight level on resistance machines that you are not struggling with. You can still feel your muscles getting a workout. Increase the weight levels and repetitions so that your muscles are not over working. If your muscles hurt or you get a sprain this is way of knowing that you are over doing it. Get advice from your doctor and a personal trainer on when and how much to increase the weight level and repetitions.

Written by: Arti Chauhan

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About the Author

Arti Chauhan comes from a family of doctors and has learned a lot about health issues and finding solutions. She is very health conscious and enjoys keeping active and healthy.

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