Before we present the basic principles necessary for sports nutrition, will give an overview of the necessary postulates the diet should posses.
1. Synergy – the nutrients do not work individually or each by itself. Their actual biological function is occurring only through mutual interactions.
2. Completeness – A key factor for synergism is completeness of all ingredients. If is missing just one of the necessary factors, then the other cannot fully complete their effects.
3. Accuracy – every type of food requires a certain period during the day to be able to achieve optimal body function.
4. Biochemical individuality – Nutrition needs of individuals are vary as well as their genetic fingerprints. Each athlete requires individual diet, composed by its degree of development of the organism.
5. Dynamics lifestyle -lifestyle choices, such as choosing the level of training, or the choice of living in a polluted urban environment, so dramatically altered and the nutritional needs of a particular person.
6. Physiological dynamics – Improved nutrition can not immediately show results. Should allow sufficient time for the body to repair the whole system and only then can perform a beneficial effect of optimal nutrition.
- Given these principles, it is necessary to plan and combine the nutrients to check the effect of their actions, so they will adjust until you find the ideal relationship for you to have a great progress. Some nutritionists who know the physiology and metabolism of athletes claim that five meals a day rich in quality protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, a large amount of water, are enough to provide a steady flow of energy materials (carbohydrates) and other materials (amino acids, and certain fatty acids), vitamins and minerals.
- Athletes who want to achieve great results in their diet should meet the following super nutrition rules:
1. Diet must be energetic enough.
2. Diet must meet the needs of vitamins and minerals.
3. Meals athlete should not be large in volume, but to be small and enough with all charge and easy to digest in our organism.
4. Meals must be deployed and made according to the schedule of training and competitions (30% breakfast, 40% lunch, 30% dinner and snacks if needed 1-2 times).
The most important energy boosters are:
1. Carbohydrates 40-60% (48% complex and 12% simple). Carbohydrates are the most important energy boosters that athletes use. Products that are exhibited in the digestion of carbohydrates are glucose, fructose and lactose. Mostly glucose, and its absorption can be used to provide power, or deposited in cells in a form of glycogen. All three products are monosaccharides. The body has 450g/1lb of total carbohydrate reserves, and for top athletes, this value goes up to 750g/1.65lbs. No specific values for carbohydrate calorie needs in athletes. The mostly mentioned value is from 700gr/1.54lbs to 1000g/2.2lbs per day. The total amount of carbohydrate depends on the duration of the training and its intensity.
- Food rich with complex carbohydrates are: chickpeas, bananas, barley, beans, oats, nuts, brown rice, potatoes, sweet corn, root vegetables, wholegrain cereals, wholemeal breads, wholemeal flour, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal cereals.
- Food rich with simple carbohydrates are: biscuits, cakes and pastries, chocolate, honey and jams, prepared foods and sauces, soft drinks, brown and white cane sugar, sweets and snack bars.
2. Protein 12-15% (of which 2/3 of animal origin, 1/3 of vegetable origin) complete three quarters of living matter in the body and are considered the basis of life. Protein feeds up the muscle after workout. In the body there are 20 amino acids, and they all have two common features: an acid group comprises the amino group, and a free radical. Animal proteins are important from a physiological point of view, because they contain more essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) that are most important for athletes. There is an opinion that the ideal value ranges from 0.6g to 1.2g per kg body weight, yet it varies term between workout and its intensity.
-Foods rich with animal protein are: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products.
-Food rich with plant protein are: nuts, seeds, grains, beans, pulses, legumes (peas, green beans), soya products, cereals, vegetable protein foods, such as Quorn or veggie mince.
3. Fat 25-30% (of which 10% saturated, mono and poly saturated). In terms of chemical composition they are divided into simple and complex fats and fat with similar substances. The last two groups are called lipoids. Simple fats are esters of fatty acids and alcohols. Fatty acids are divided into saturated and unsaturated and oxy acids. Unsaturated fatty acids (linoleic, linolenic) are essential fatty acids and they cannot be synthesized but must be consumed through food. They are essential because they have a role in the functioning of the cell. Their absence leads to disorders in the body. Fats belong to a group of simple neutral fats (triglycerides) and waxes. In athletes fat depots depend on the type of sport that we are training.
- Food rich with saturated fat are: meat, butter cream, cheese, eggs, lard, full fat milk, suet and dripping, full fat yoghurt.
- Food rich with unsaturated fat are: avocados (one quarter of an avocado contains 5g of unsaturated fat), unsalted nuts (cashew, pecan, walnut), seeds (pumpkin , sunflower, sesame).