Nutrition For Athletes

Endurance athletes spend hundreds of hours training for that one high profile race day. They’ll run, bike or swim for miles and spend a significant amount of time studying their techniques, looking at their form, and trying to earn that extra second of speed to beat their competition. For all the time they spend researching and training for the gold medal, they should also invest a significant amount of time finding their optimal nutrition.

Performance nutrition for athletes requires them to find just the right balance of nutrients in their diet. A proper endurance diet should include carbohydrates, proteins and fats delivered in proper ratios through small but frequent servings.

Carbohydrates should comprise 60 percent of an athletes diet preferably through low glycemic foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These are more complex carbs that burn slowly over time to match their racing requirements over a long distance.

Fats will make up another 25 percent of their diet. Yes. Fat. Despite everyone’s desire to shed fat, it is a vital source of energy for the body. During a prolonged exercise routine, the body will begin to burn fat calories. It’s recommended to consume these through foods with proteins so as not to eat them alone.

Proteins make up the last mix and should represent about 15 percent of the diet. Proteins repair and build muscle fibers utilized during the workouts and races. Allowing a days rest in between hard workouts allows the muscles to rest and build back up with the help of protein. Meats, eggs and cheeses provide a great source of both protein and fats, whereas beans and nuts are excellent sources for protein without the fat.

Investing the extra time in nutrition will quickly provide a payback for all the hours spent training.