Hence there is a strong need to develop awareness about different classes of food and their nutritive values. The details of these different classes of foods are described here.
Carbohydrates and their nutritive value: Carbohydrates help in the fast release of energy that is very much needed for our body metabolism. The sportspersons are generally given small doses of carbohydrates for meeting the immediate need of energy after exhaustion. The examples are glucose, fructose, lactose and maltose. Carbohydrates have the following major functions within the body:
Carbohydrates play an important role in cellular recognition processes. Several immunoglobulins (antibodies) and peptide hormones contain glycoprotein sequences. These sequences are composed of amino acids linked to carbohydrates which may result in the passage of time for proteins. 2
Different sources of carbohydrates are to be made as an integral part of a balanced diet for sportspersons as they form a good source of minerals, vitamins and fibres. Different sources of carbohydrates like loaves of bread, cereals, starchy vegetables, legumes, rice plates of pasta, fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products have to be supplied in our diet regularly. Starchy foods should make up about a third of the food for sportspersons. As starchy foods contain fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins,
balanced proportions of the different foods containing carbohydrates are vital in deciding the nutritional value. If starchy foods are taken in natural form, it will not add any fats whereas cooked foods may add fats that are used for cooking and serving, because this is what increases the calorie content. Hence one should prefer the intake of the whole-grain source.
One should not forget the fact that starchy foods are to be preferred by sportspeople as they are rich in fibre. Hence different sources of fibre-rich starchy foods like bread, granary, brown, seedy, chapattis, roti, potatoes, .plantain, yam and sweet potato, dasheen, cocoyam and kenkey, squash, breadfruit, cassava, wholegrain breakfast cereals, beans, lentils, peas, couscous, bulgar wheat and maize are to be made as internal key ingredients of balanced diet for sportspeople for ensuring higher nutritive value.