Everyday Fueling for Optimal Sport Performance
Fill The Tank
Nutrition & Sports Performance
Here’s how to Fuel Yourself for Optimal Sports Performance
It is often said that abs are made in the kitchen, which might be a 100% true. You may be at the gym six times a week, stretching, lifting heavy and getting cardio in, but without the right nutrition you won’t ever see the results you’re looking for.
I am here to talk you through exactly what your nutrition needs to consist of, and how to eat to bring out the best in competition.
How much protein should I be getting in?
An athlete’s nutrition should help to increase their sporting performance, not hinder it. A huge part of strength conditioning is getting in enough protein. An athlete working out strenuously for 60 to 90 minutes a day should be looking at consuming 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to help with muscle repair and growth. It’s also important to spread out your protein intake throughout the day. One of the most important time periods to consume a quality protein is immediately after a workout. Look to consume a meal with a minimum of 20 grams of protein in your post workout meal.
Will carbs help my performance?
It’s essential for sports performance to make sure around 50% of your diet consists of good carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose during digestion, which is then used as the body’s primary energy source. Glucose can also be stored in the liver and muscle tissue as glycogen, where it is used to fuel your workouts. By consistently eating a good amount of carbohydrates, you can increase the amount of glycogen in your body to help with performance. It’s best to go for carbohydrate sources that break down slowly to keep you fuller for longer, ie wholewheat pasta instead of white. These slow burning food sources will release energy throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
How will fats help?
Not only are carbs good for fuel, but fats are too. Eating healthy fats is particularly important for endurance athletes at they support the body in longer, more intense exercise. Omega 6 fats are the best to aim for - these are found in nuts, meats and dairy. Omega 3 fats are also a good way to go- these are found in salmon, soybeans and tofu. Eating fats shouldn’t mean downing a sack of large fries! There are plenty of great ways to consume a healthy amount of fat.
Are micro-nutrients important?
Sure it’s important to make sure you’re eating enough of the macro food groups, but many athletes seem to forget the importance of including good portions of fruit and veggies in their diets. These foods are dense in vitamins and minerals which will nourish your body to increase your sports performance in the long-term. When plating up your next meal, try to make sure a good portion of your plate is vegetables - not only will they keep you healthy, but they’re a great way to increase the volume of food you’re eating to keep you fuller for a longer period of time.