Balanced living nutrition; sports nutrition. Having a good diet is something very important for any living being, but athletes are not living beings like others and require a diet that is on the one hand healthy, balanced and varied, and on the other hand meets their energy needs.

Thus, poor sports nutrition can have negative consequences on performance and recovery, making the athlete more prone to the risk of injury, less good in effort, or even cause muscle loss!

Therefore, it is important for any athlete, regardless of their level, to combine intense training and intelligent nutrition, namely a diet that meets the needs for proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and nutrients.

Therefore, nutrition for an athlete is an essential part of achieving their goals, whatever they may be. Whether you want to gain muscles, lose fat, run faster, longer, jump higher, gain strength, training alone will fail to reach your goal.

You have to learn the basics of eating healthy and focused on your goal. You will need to know your body, how it works, and what amounts of nutrients to bring to it to maintain an optimal fitness level.

1. Balanced living nutrition; what is sports nutrition?

By sports nutrition, we mean the specific diet of an athlete. On a daily basis, an athlete, like everyone else, has nutritional needs. However, these nutritional needs can sometimes increase by the intensive practice of sport. The need for a suitable diet can be felt by top athletes, as well as by amateur athletes with regular practice.

A general estimation is that the nutritional need increases after three intensive workouts per week. We can then differentiate between several types of needs: before effort, during effort, after effort. Among the sports nutrition products, you can indeed find products to prepare for training, to support you during exercise, and others that will allow you to recover properly.

Sports competitions, for their part, also generate specific needs, depending on whether you are in the preparation phase, in the performance phase, or in recovery.

Of course, sports nutrition is above all about adopting a balanced diet to be in good shape and not to develop deficiencies. Sports nutrition products, whether they are isotonic drinks, energy gels, or protein bars, are there to supplement this diet.

2. Balanced living nutrition; what is the role of nutrition in sports?

To progress for the long term, nutrition plays an essential role. Indeed, it is the fuel for your body and your muscles, which will use and consume it during workouts. Eating a balanced diet adapted to your goals is the key to helping you improve your strength and performance while developing physically. For this, it is necessary to calculate all your calorie intake during the day to provide your body with what it needs. We advise you to favor the most natural and least processed foods possible for better results, both physically and for general health.

Here are some tips:

Consume at least one serving of protein, carbohydrates, and fat with each meal. These essential macronutrients are necessary and must be in reasonable amounts. Carbohydrates and proteins provide 4 calories per gram and lipids 9.

Eat vegetables with every meal. Often neglected, vegetables play an essential role in the acid-base balance and provide good nutrients to the body.

Establish several meals during the day for a constant intake. You can eat about every 3 hours, such as having breakfast, lunch, dinner, and fix 1 to 2 snacks between these meals.

Avoid the consumption of sodas, alcohol, and sweets. Composed of so-called "empty" calories, they will not help you reach your goals and, on the contrary, can slow down your progress. Indeed, ethanol provides 7 calories per gram, and this kind of food and drink can explode your total daily calories, causing fat storage.

Sports nutrition is also essential for the good health of your body. The quality of your food will help keep your brain, muscles, and organs functioning well. For this, be sure to determine your daily calorie total and consume healthy foods to achieve this.

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3. Balanced living nutrition; what are the 3 principles of sports nutrition?

Here are the main principles of sports nutrition:

3.1 High protein intake

By having a high enough protein intake, you improve your recovery and amplify your muscle growth. Definitely, the amino acids of proteins stimulate protein synthesis. For endurance athletes, we recommend 1.2 and 1.4 g/kg/day of protein.

For strength athletes, we recommend between 1.5 and 2 g / kg/day of protein.

2/3 of the intake should come from food; the last third can come from supplements in the form of good quality protein. Research suggests that one should consume at least 20 to 30 grams of protein in powder form after training to promote recovery and muscle building.

3.2 Eat good fat

Lipids: vegetable oils, butter, nuts, fatty fish (salmon, tuna), egg and avocado ...

Lipids provide the body with essential fatty acids essential for the proper functioning of our organism.

To choose the right lipids: choose raw, cold-pressed oils, organic butter, nuts, or even fish from line fishing.

3.3 Various and well-distributed small balanced meals

Prefer small meals (5 to 6) frequent rather than large and occasional meals. This way of doing things makes it possible to continually provide the body with what it needs to build itself up and remain efficient throughout the day.

Each meal should contain carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, all balanced with your calorie needs and corresponding to your goal.

Above all, do not neglect the "peri-training" diet: that is, your diet before training, during training, and after training.

3.4 Water: essential

Without providing any calories, water is very important for our body and represents between 60 to 70% of the body's weight. This corresponds to about 45 liters of water for a 70 kg person. Athletes who train regularly have a larger volume of water in their body because they have more muscles, and these contain 73.2% water compared to 10% in body fat. Where is the water? 60% in our cells and 40% in the tissues in which the cells bathe: lymph and blood.

3.5 Do not neglect fruits and vegetables

Your body needs the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) found in fruits and vegetables. They promote muscle growth, health, and performance.

In addition, vegetables and fruits provide dietary fiber, which contributes to your intestine's good health and facilitates intestinal transit. Finally, know that your micronutrient needs are much greater than those of a sedentary person.

So, taking multivitamin supplements may be beneficial for you and your sport.

Originally published on Live Positively.