Athlete nutrition

Which diet is best for an athlete? Do you need to eat more?

There are many questions people who play sports ask themselves.
Nutritionists also argue that in this case, the distinguishing element is a quality diet, rather than quantity. Higher ratio of intake to food, that is, when I play sports, I need to eat more in order not to die, this should not be taken literally. It all depends on the quality of the diet.

Better carbohydrates or proteins?

Protein is needed in moderation for muscle growth and repair, but the main form of energy used during exercise comes from carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates, also called carbohydrates from the Greek glucose = sugar, are made up of carbon and water. They are found in most plant foods and can be simple or complex when formed from the combination of several monosaccharides. The most important simple carbohydrates are glucose and sucrose, among the polysaccharides are starch and fiber.

Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy for muscles, as well as the main source of energy for the brain and central nervous system. They are stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver.

The relationship between food and exercise

In general, it is good to remember that the body needs the right time to digest substances taken from food, so exercise should be avoided immediately after eating.

After a balanced meal, it is advisable to wait about two hours before starting your workout. Food should be high in carbohydrates, low in fat and moderate in protein.

Too much protein or fat slows down the movement of food out of the stomach, making it at least weak.
Food and drink are very important for post-workout energy recovery. Good recovery is essential to prevent a drop in energy levels and to stimulate muscle growth and tone. At the end of your workout, you can eat low-fat snacks, but above all, drink plenty of water.

Why should I drink when I exercise?

Drinking is very important to avoid the risk of dehydration. If you sweat a lot or exercise lasts 30 minutes or more, you should drink even while exercising.

What are the dietary differences between those who exercise to lose weight and those who increase muscle mass?

The fundamental difference is that those who want to reduce body fat should take into account that in the end, the energy that accumulates should be less than the energy that burns out.


diet must therefore accommodate these needs and be low in fat. Of course, sugary foods and alcohol should be avoided. At the table, it is important to keep the portions small, and it is equally important to eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, rice, pasta and lots of fruits.

We must be careful and watch out for products that are presented as miraculous, such as some supplements or other products that may also have some properties but are commercially marketed as weight loss products. This applies, for example, “anti-fat tea”. As nutritionist Dr. Luca Mattiocco reminds us: “There is no food that makes you lose weight by itself. For this purpose, there is a thermogenic but physiologically mild property. However, weight loss requires a balanced diet with nutrients and calorie intake, depending on your current health status, lifestyle and regular physical activity. ”

To increase muscle mass, you need to combine resistance training (also called strength training) with a diet that includes enough energy for the body to build and tone muscles.

Again, energy should come primarily from carbohydrate-rich foods, although some protein intake will be beneficial. In any case, a modest amount is sufficient, so the consumption of protein-containing foods (for example, red meat) should be very limited.

Is it good to take supplements during exercise?

Optional. It is always best to rely on a healthy and balanced diet.
It is also good to pay close attention to many products on the market. Many of them do absolutely nothing, and even illegal substances have been found in others.

Since the use of supplements is still on the rise, if you choose to use them, it is best to rely on expert advice to find the one that works best for you and the physical activity you are doing, and choose products that have proven and verified scientific research and research behind it.

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