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Preparing for the game takes lot of training and discipline. Hard training with teammates, inspirational speeches from the coach and other seniors of the team, and a short prayer are among other important things you don't forget before the game begins. But these are not the only thing that you need for an excellent performance. Maybe you should be asking yourself… what did you eat before the game?
What you eat before, and after the game and training sessions are to a larger extent contributing factors to your performance and health as an athlete. Most young athletes tend to ignore how much a good diet can help them perform to their fullest. They're often overwhelmed with thoughts of fame and becoming stars, but they forget the basics… a healthy diet!! They don't really know how to combine food and fitness to reach their potential.
An interesting thing about eating for sports is that it's not too complicated. It doesn't require you to change your diet or buy any special food supplements. The same regular meal and snacks can help you reach top form. You'll just need to eat from all food groups for full nutrients package your body needs for superb performance. Have a healthy combination of foods that are rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to be top of your game.
Foods that are rich in carbohydrates are full of energy for all body functions. Your body needs as much carbs as possible for full support of muscle and cell health and proper functioning. Carbs can be grouped into two categories – sugars and starches.
- Sugars – these are carbohydrates that your body find easy to digest and include foods like fruits, candy, jelly, cake, soda etc. Excessive intake of these foods may cause health problems. Minimize consumption of these as you combine them with other minerals from other food groups.
- Starches – these are complex carbs that take longer to digest and may fill your tummy if too much is consumed. These include foods such as bread, grains, pasta, noodles and vegetables etc.
Making better carbohydrate choices:
- Eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread.
- Instead of high in fat and sodium snacks, switch to low-sodium and whole wheat crackers.
- Use skimmed milk for baking and for drinking instead of whole milk since it has a higher fat content.
- Use applesauce instead of cooking oil.
- Splenda is a sweet-testing replacement of pure sugar.
Don't eat only one type of food when you're training for an event or game. Carb loading can better fill your tummy and leave you tired before the game even begin. Carbohydrates are, of course, an important source of fuel for your body muscles and cells but you need a balanced combination of different foods for better performance.
Young athletes are often tempted to take too much protein and Amino acid supplements to build large strong muscles. All these result in unauthorized drug intake that ends careers before they even start. Muscle growth and strength take hard work and regular training.
Other types of nutrients that an athlete's body requires even more than carbohydrates are iron and calcium. Iron can be found in iron-fortified grains, lean red meats, and green leafy vegetables. And for strong bones and teeth, calcium is a primary source. The best sources of calcium are foods from milk group. Calcium is necessary for strong bones and prevents stress fractures that may occur during the game or while working out.
|Foods that a sportsperson must eat sparingly
Most sportspeople tend to lose focus and interest in their game because of an upset stomach caused by indigestion. There are foods that take longer to digest and may deprive you to be on top of your game. Besides food, eating disorders may cause indigestion here are few causes of indigestion:
- Food items such as lime, ginger, and fresh coriander must be added to your meal to help digestion.
- Do not drink water immediately after eating, but wait for a minimum of one hour, optimally, two hours.
- Do not drink a lot of fluids while eating as this slows the digestive process.
- Fried foods are difficult to digest and are best avoided.
- Raw foods are also indigestible.
- It is also a good idea to eat less, as overeating can result in immediate sickness.
- Frozen milk is hard on digestion and may cause stomach disorders
- Salads and ice creams can be harmful to a sportsperson
Don't continue eating until you are full. Let your meal digest totally before eating something else. Eat again after at least four hours. If you want to achieve optimum digestion, don't eat between meals. Overeating may cause unnecessary illnesses.
Most digestive problems can be cured by short-term fasting. A natural cure for indigestion is to sip water over a period of time.
There are certain diet habits that young athletes adopt that are not good for their career and general health condition as whole:
- Fat intake is not bad for athletes
- Imbalance of salt and fluid intake
- Carbo loading
- Consumption of reheated foods
- Raw or half-cooked meat is dangerous for athletes
- Excessive salt intake
- Alcohol consumption
- Exercise more.
in constructive exercising program.
to lower-fat diets.
more fruits and vegetables.
back on sugars and sweets.
2/3 water and 1/3 of orange juice.