What is the best sports nutrition for an athlete? There is no definitive answer to this. No athlete has the same need. It all depends on the physique of an athlete and the kind of sports that he or she is into.
So, if you are contemplating on joining an endurance sports competition, the best sports nutrition for you is the nutritional table fit for an athlete that expects long hours of vigorous physical activity and mental alertness even when tired.
Endurance sports test the physical and mental fortitude of an athlete; if you are not well fed for this kind of competition, it would be better for you if you would back off from the competition.
Best Sports Nutrition for Endurance Sports Athletes
– Best sports nutrition a day before the event
Do not overwork yourself on the day before the event. It would be wise if you would only do stretching and a few kilometers of jogging, eat protein rich food, hydrate yourself (a lot!) and rest for the rest of the evening because you need to get up early, as early as four hours before the game.
The best sports nutrition in endurance sports is hydration. You should be hydrating yourself even a week before the game. This is to keep your body cleansed, fueled and watered for the coming event.
If you only hydrate yourself on the day of the event, you won’t hold too much water. Most of the liquid that you intake will only seep out through sweat. So, if you want to go to the game in full tank, drink lots of water beforehand.
Another best sports nutrition tip that you must learn by heart is to eat food rich in protein, to keep your muscles in shape, and carbohydrates so that your glycogen stores would be at their best. You can hydrate yourself well with sports drink that contains minerals to balance your electrolytes level.
– Best sports nutrition hours before the event
Eat a meal before you run. This is the best sports nutrition advice that you should keep in mind. You need glucose to keep your blood sugar in normal levels. Glucose fuels the brain and the muscles during an activity.
If you lack glucose in your body, you cannot think properly because your brain does not have enough fuel that it needs. Worse, you might faint even before the race begins of hypoglycemia.
Having enough stores of glucose in your body will keep you alert and going even for long hours of physical activity. So, don’t forget to eat a light to moderate meal before you race.
Long hours of running, swimming and bicycling will definitely deplete your glycogen stores in your liver. So, a carbohydrate rich meal will be your best choice of pre-race meal. It can quickly restore your reserves of glycogen in your liver and put the fulcrum back to normal. You can bring with you carbohydrates bar which you can munch while running, and drain it down with water or sports drink.
According to health experts, best sports nutrition tip to get the carbohydrate you need is to eat food that you know won’t make your stomach upset. Stress can induce diarrhea. Add up food that your digestive system hates and you will see yourself sitting on the throne while your competitors have started running after hearing the gun fire.
When to eat your pre-race meal? The sports nutrition experts recommend one to four hours before the assembly time and then nibble 50 grams of carbohydrate every hour before the game starts.
Instant oatmeal, bananas, low fat milk and energy bars are good sources of carbohydrates. Always follow a meal with water or sports drink. Never drink soda or caffeinated beverages because they will work of you as diuretics. According to the best sports nutrition magazines in the country, caffeine drains the body of fluid.
Add up salty foods to your meal. Salt will help you retain more water in your body.