you’re an intense athlete, you’ll have to cater your
diet to meet your specific needs. For those of us who work out on a
normal basis—for an hour a day or less—a balanced diet
will be adequate to get the right amount of energy and nutrients.
if you are training for a marathon, if you are a professional or
amateur athlete who trains intensely, or if you have a serious
athletic hobby such as mountain biking or hiking, you’ll
need to change your diet in some ways. The basic principles of
and balance apply to athletes. But the first thing to think about
is energy. If you’re training for more than ninety minutes
on any given day, or if you have multiple training sessions on
a day, extra energy sources are important. One way to get extra
is to snack throughout the day; but choose healthy snacks. Get
variety in your snacks, but emphasize complex carbohydrates and
Complex carbohydrates provide your body with the best
source of long-term energy. During intense exercise, your body
in your muscle called glycogen. In order to ensure that you have
a strong glycogen supply, and that your body can replace glycogen stores
between exercise sessions, get enough carbohydrates in your diet.
think a high-protein diet will help them perform their best.
While protein is very helpful for building muscles and for tissue
never forego complex carbohydrates for meats. You’ll need
the extra energy that comes from complex carbohydrates such as
whole wheat, barley and oat. Fruits and vegetables have some essential
complex carbohydrates that will help to increase glycogen stores
in your muscles. Plus, the vitamins and nutrients that come from
extra vegetables and fruits will never hurt in making you feel
more energized. Protein is definitely a key to getting stronger,
wary of high-fat options. Instead, find lean meat, poultry and
fish for your protein. You can find protein in some vegetables,
and grains. As a female athlete, you run the risk of becoming iron
deficient. Seek out alternative sources of iron for your diet.
Make sure you’re hydrated at all times as an athlete. Get
enough water before you exercise, during training and then replenish
body after you’re done. As you sweat, you lose some of the
water in your body, so keep water at hand constantly. Some athletes
prefer sports drinks for more intense workouts and competitions.
There isn’t one recommended type of sports drink that is
guaranteed to enhance your performance. However, having a drink
on hand that
provides electrolytes, nutrients or carbohydrates during an intensive
workout is much better than having nothing. Even water can’t
provide your body with the energy it needs to maintain a long,
intense workout. Sometimes, it might help to have small complex
laden snacks on hand to keep yourself fueled.
If you are engaging
in extreme or intense exercise to
lose weight, you might want to see a professional.
Many women have a love of the game, so to speak, that drives
them to push their bodies to athletic extremes. But some women think
by over-exercising they can lose weight or get to an ideal body
type. If you find yourself training for a marathon or getting
involved in serious athletics for the wrong reason, take a step
to your healthcare provider or an exercise specialist to discuss
options that will allow you to engage in an adequate amount of
while remaining healthy, and happy.
Click below to read about related topics.
Heart Healthy Eating
Nutrition for Athletes