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What should the Sports Persons Eat?

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An adequate diet that provides us with the basic nutrients is an important part of any sports practice that you wish to undertake. At the same time, it is more important for those who intend to take part in high intensity and long duration events such as triathlons, half marathons or marathons. While a good and healthy diet does not and cannot change or replace poor training, an inadequate diet can harm the performance of a well-trained sportsperson.

As a result, if you put in the maximum effort to take part in any of these sports, it is very important to pay some attention to the quality and quantity of the food you intend to eat before, during and after the competition. The effort made during long-term survival tests such as a marathon is derived from a continued muscular effort. This again is sustained mainly by the glycogen stored in the active muscles, as well as the glycogen stored in the liver.

That is why the consumption of carbohydrates before, during and after the competition is important to optimize the performance of the participant. When the reserves of carbohydrates are exhausted, there arises a feeling of great fatigue known in the sports arena as ‘the wall’. This causes a marked decrease in performance and in many cases the leaving behind the test.

Before the test: The preliminary nourishing plan must start at least a couple of weeks before the test. You have to eat a significant amount of foods that are rich in slow-absorbing carbohydrates. This will help increase the body’s glycogen level. It can be toasted bread made with 100% whole grains. Wholemeal pasta and brown rice are also equally good for this purpose. The week before the test is the time when the body really needs its reserves, so the diet must be richer in these foods and 60% of the energy must come from carbohydrates.

Beware of vegetables that can cause gases such as beans, cabbage and broccoli, and fruits such as raisins, pears, peach and apples which by their content of sorbitol can cause discomfort during the event. A couple of hours before the event, it is recommended to enjoy a meal rich in slow-absorbing carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat that will give the body the necessary nutrients for best performance during the event. A sandwich and a fruit are an excellent option.

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