Athletes achieve peak performance by training physically, technically, tactically and mentally as well as furling their body with a variety of foods.
Working with an athlete on the psychological side of sport is important but also teaching the importance of furling body and brain to carry out the functions of a sporting individual. Optimal nutrition is essential for peak performance.
Taking a footballer out to the supermarket was a great experience. Hands on nutritional information was able to be given.
Athletes benefit the most from the amount of carbohydrates stored in the body. Carbs yield more energy per unit of oxygen than another other food group. Complex carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, potatoes are used as fuel for endurance activities. Avoiding simple sugars such as glucose, sucrose, fructose and dextrose is also helpful as they do not have a place in your body. These sugars give energy peaks and crashes whereas having a banana will level out your energy levels.
Water is an important nutrient for the athlete and lost fluid should be replaced as soon as possible.
Protein recommendations included 1 to 1.7 grams per kg of body weight. For those not exercising the protein requirements are 0.8 grams per kg of body weight.
Fat should be from 20 - 30 % of calorie intake and saturated fats should be minimal.
Foods that should be eaten before exercise should be relatively low in fat and fiber, moderate in protein and relatively high in carbohydrate to maximise the blood glucose.
Within 30 mins after exercise, fluids, electrolytes, calories, proteins and carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen and to aid recovery. A lot of people think if they eat after they have trained they will gain weight especially late at night, nevertheless with not replenishing your body, you are undoing all your hard work.
You need to refuel for future exercise.
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.