A vast majority of people think or believe that any special nutrition is for cases where the person involved suffers from a disease such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or autoimmune diseases.
I don’t know if you knew this fact, but this is really a big, if not huge, mistake.
Surely there are certain foods considered as healthy and suitable while others are excluded as not appropriate, for every person depending on its age, sex, health, physical condition, work, whether or not follows an exercise program.
In the lines of this article we try to give some information on the case of a special nutrition for athletes, the do’s and do not’s as we call them which have to be applied by anyone engaged in an activity on a more regular basis.
Let’s stay on this point and state that we are talking about the person following training and not for a real athlete.
Going a little further on the meaning of the statements above we have to mention that for any person engaged in any type of physical activity, its body needs a special nutritional treatment.
Sounds strange? I do not think so. It’s absolutely reasonable. But let’s see.
A professional athlete follows a very strict diet plan due to high demands of its body and organism being under pressure due to hard training sessions.
Everyone – men and women – as we enter into an effort to pursue a healthier lifestyle we introduce a physical activity at some point in our lives accompanied by a diet plan.
People following a training plan should pay attention and focus on different nutrients than those needed for persons characterized by a sedentary lifestyle.
It makes sense … doesn’t it?
An athlete needs energy, and more calories from its meals. In fact, these meals should have a specific structure in order to promote the growth of muscle mass, enhance the physical strength and endurance of the athlete and stimulate its energy and efficiency.
Chicken and turkey (mainly breasts) are the main source of protein for every athlete. It is the leanest meat and – surely – the most beneficial. Low in fat but rich in valuable nutrients, chicken and turkey increase the amount of energy in the body and promote fat burning exercise.
Another very important source of protein is the fish. Whether they are small or big, oily or not, they must be present in every diet (whether there is training program or not).
Specifically, fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial for heart protection and proper function, preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, providing useful energy and protection for the body, increasing the metabolic rate and enhancing the burning of body fat.
Nuts can be an excellent snack for boosting energy and endurance.
Rich in good fats and Vitamin E, nuts (nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts) help control bad cholesterol levels while they provide powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer activity.
Cereals, pasta, pastries … all should be whole grain products. Ideal foods for energy in the morning meal, contribute to good functioning of the gastrointestinal system due to the abundant fiber contained. They also promote the growth of body’s metabolic rate and promote fat digestion and weight loss.
Dairy products could not be missing from the list. Milk, yogurt and cheese are rich in calcium and an excellent source of protein as well.
As it is known, proteins are essential during training periods, as they promote muscle growth, endurance and strengthening.
In addition, yogurt, more specifically, is the most ideal food for the protection the gastrointestinal tract, as the most well-known probiotic food contributing to proper functioning of the intestine.
Banana is rich in potassium, low in calories and an ideal natural source of electrolytes. As an ideal snack after a training session restoring electrolytes in body, fights muscle spasms, aches, cramps and injuries.
Spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, green leafy vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower are – as strange might sound – perfect for people engaged in training. Rich in nutrients, vitamins (A, K and B6) and minerals, provide strong antioxidant protection and anti-cancer activity, strengthen the body, stimulate the immune system and improve health.
Eggs are one of the most essential foods for a person following training. An egg can cover a large proportion of a person’s daily protein needs, about 10 to 15%.
Eggs, as known, contain valuable amino acids assisting in the recovery and growth of muscle-strained from workouts, enhance muscle growth as well.
Prevent the accumulation of fat in the vital organs (as liver) and they are ideal for a morning meal if combined with whole grain products, fruits, vegetables and cereals.
Promote bone health and enhance memory and thinking, giving the training person a better focus on its workouts.
Surely all vegetables constitute a simple and top choice to set a base for your meals. Each meal should be accompanied by plenty of different vegetables which provide valuable fiber, vitamins, trace elements, micronutrients, antioxidant and anti-cancer activity and immunity to viruses and germs.
Make a colorful, multi-flavored dish that will delight the eye and mouth.
Another very powerful source of protein is beef or pork. Due to their high fat content, they are not as high in the preferences of people following training as poultry however they are not missing from their diet.
Quinoa is a great way to get energy, as provides a large amount of carbohydrates converted into beneficial energy and fighting fatigue. At the same time, many of its dietary fiber, benefits the gastrointestinal system and digestive function, while it promotes fat burning and weight loss.
Sweet potatoes – more nutritious than the common potato – are rich in vitamins A and C, but also in valuable antioxidants. Sweet potato fights free radicals, prevents cancer, lowers blood pressure and benefits cardiovascular function (which is extremely important for anyone exercising)
Provide the body with valuable minerals (such as manganese, iron, copper and potassium), so protecting the muscles from injury and promoting their growth and development.
Fruits are the most delicious and healthy snack offer. They help you replenish lost fluids as well as get valuable nutrients and vitamins. At the same time they provide lots of fiber promoting good digestive function, controlling appetite levels, and boosting body fat burning and slimming.
They are also low in calories providing good sugars and energy in the body, as well as great antioxidant protection.
This is another way to get protein. Legumes are one of the most basic sources of vegetarian protein, available in many varieties and species.
Contain no saturated fat and they are rich in beneficial fiber assisting in the proper functioning of the intestine and promoting the loss of unnecessary kilos.
Provide a strong feeling of satiety for a long time and help to control the appetite. It is an ideal food for anyone trying to get rid of fat and find it difficult to control its lean mass in the body.
Pasta is a very interesting source of energy for anyone engaged in training. The carbohydrates offered to body boost energy instantly and help improve workout performance and endurance.
More specifically, whole-grain pasta is rich in fiber, providing energy while promoting digestive function. In fact, is lower in glycemic index than classic pasta, and reduces hunger, so promoting the loss of unnecessary kilos and the control of body weight.
Cocoa and black chocolate are the ideal sweet for anyone who follows training and tries to control its weight. Cocoa and black chocolate, rich in antioxidants, are the best way to sweeten your day and get energy and good mood.
Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes, control bad cholesterol levels, fight depression, promote mood, lower blood glucose levels, and increase focus and thinking.
Whey protein is a basic choice for everyone involved in athletics, sports, or training by providing all the necessary amino acids in the body to facilitate muscle growth and strengthening.
Just as there are foods promoting training and meet the needs of body under the pressure of demanding training, so are foods that “trick” all effort and get you back.
Here they are:
As mentioned earlier, fatty meats should be avoided, for both health and practical reasons (since supply a large amount of bad fats). Fats should be on the list of foods to be avoided though they are a great source of protein. Go for lean meats offering more nutritional value and more benefits!
Apart from the damage caused to liver, alcohol also produces many other functions of the body, by providing plenty of empty calories, no nutritional value, and a big headache that will surely limit your performance and endurance training.
Though they seem to be an ideal fit for those who exercise, energy drinks are extremely toxic to body causing significant malfunctions.
They are rich in chemicals, systemic and non-natural sweeteners causing in many cases cancer in the long run.
Even if you did not know, regular consumption of such beverages can cause inflammation and damage to the body, hormonal imbalance, and malfunction of various organs or even deficiency.
Any trans fat-containing food is a bad dietary choice … whether you are exercising or not! These foods are very toxic and cause various types of inflammation. They promote the appearance of various forms of cancer and impede normal cellular function.
Though marketed as an ideal snack for slimming and appetite control, these bars usually contain a very large amount of sugar, preservatives, chemical flavorings and processed carbohydrates. In fact, it is nothing more than a completely “empty” value food.
Even if they are sold for natural juices, finally they are anything but natural! Plain water, sugar and chemicals to maintain and enhance the taste, these juices fill any nutrition with calories and lack any elements for promoting health
Prefer homemade fruit and vegetable juices offering vitamins, valuable dietary fiber and energy.
White salt, like most of us at home, is responsible for a variety of health problems. Replace white salt with pink Himalayan salt … but always in a moderate way.
It is already known, sugar is not a good thing for the body.
All sweets and snacks full of sugar being promoted and advertised every day can only create problems in your health and produce numerous problems in many cases leading also to fatal incidents in certain cases.
All fried foods are responsible for causing organism inflammation and are extremely toxic, fattening and carcinogenic.