As you might expect, professional athletes are meticulous about their training routines, working to maintain a high fitness level by regularly exercising and eating a super-healthy diet. That is essential practice as it helps keep them in shape and allows them to get prepared for upcoming games quickly. Paying attention to your diet as well as regularly exercising is good for everyone, of course, and there are several tips the sports stars know that can help all of us in our quest to be and stay healthy, whether you’re an athlete or not. Here are a few top tips to try at home.
Pay attention to your nutrition plan
A balanced diet contains protein, fiber, carbohydrates, sugars and several different types of fat – those that are necessary for your good health are saturated fats, while those to be avoided are monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fats. In an ideal nutrition plan, sports people may also monitor their cholesterol, sodium and potassium levels and their intake of vitamins, such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Finally, calcium, sodium and iron consumption needs to be regularly checked.
As athletes have a higher energy output than other people, they need more calories to sustain it. At every meal, the ideal servings should include one or two of lean protein, one or two of healthy fats and one of colorful fruit or vegetables. Additionally, foods such as lentils, oats, quinoa or brown rice provide high fiber carbs that are slow to digest. They are excellent for replacing any glycogen that might be lost from the muscles during intense training or games.
Different sports require different types of body development, and therefore athletes tailor their nutrition plan to suit their required levels of energy and adapt this to take account of seasonal variations. For instance, following the plan to ‘eat enough for what you burn’ means sports people tend to seek out higher protein foods off-season because this is when they build up their strength training. During the mid-season period, athletes look to meals that are anti-inflammatory and improve recovery times.
People who don’t play sports professionally can follow similar meal plans as long as they don’t consume too many unneeded calories.
Food for games
During the hours before a game begins sports people begin to fuel up, so their blood sugar levels are raised to boost coordination, focus and general endurance. By the middle of a game, athletes seek out food or drink to replenish what has been lost, often in the form of a sport drink high in electrolytes, quick-acting carbs, and sodium.
When it comes to post-game recovery and building up sports success for the longer term, nutrition must be carefully controlled even after the game. Filling up on junk food is not be beneficial, unlike a helping of the right kind of carbs and lean protein.
What to eat
Choosing the appropriate foods, finding the best recipes and making sure all the right kitchen utensils are in place helps sports players create their favorite healthy meals. Among the most popular ingredients are:
- Grilled chicken, turkey and fish
- Lean red meat
- Vegetables, especially leafy green ones
- Dairy, in moderation, for example, high-quality protein shakes.
Raw vegetables, such as those used in salad retain a lot of vitamins and minerals, while the process of cooking can destroy a few. That having been said, cooking methods have changed over the decades, so much so that we now have a better understanding of heat conduction and how the properties of cookware effect and are affected by the type of stove and fuel being used.
Advances in cookware
New materials have been developed to make cookware more streamlined and efficient so that food cooks evenly, cooking time is less, and fuel usage is reduced. The Red Copper square pan uses a revolutionary new technology with a non-stick ceramic surface that will withstand heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. With this copper-infused item you can steam, broil, braise and bake as well as sauté food. You can also fry and deep fry using the accessories supplied.
Preparing high protein shakes, for example, has become fashionable as a direct result of the development of high-speed blenders with sophisticated accessories. Combining quality vegetables, fruits and a little liquid you can replicate the shakes that athletes drink to boost their energy and improve their focus.
Make the most of fresh fruit and vegetables in your local store, target foods with lean protein and opt for the most advanced cookware you can find to help you achieve the energy levels and abilities of the top sportspeople.