The role of nutrition in sports: Sports are necessary for sustaining a healthy lifestyle. They provide us with the agility we need in order to compete efficiently with the challenging environment of the modern world. However, not many among us manage to perform well at sports. The reasons for this are numerous in general and vary from individual to individual in particular. But one reason which hinders good performance in sports is the intake of unbalanced and / or inappropriate diet on the part of the sportsman. What a sportsman is fueling his body with makes a lot of difference. Diet, if appropriate can inculcate great sportsman spirit in the player, and at the same time, break sportsman spirit if otherwise. Considering this, it is very important for us to learn what measures should we take which would enhance our stamina, so that we can devote more time to sports, and what is the right kind of diet to help us perform better and earn a fit and healthy physique. It would remain very convenient if we could acquire a sports nutrition handout, to which we can refer as a guide in order to learn what kind of diet would match a certain kind of sport. The model of a nutrition handout for Running is presented below:
Nutrition handout for Running:
Running requires stamina more than any other sport would do, since the runner cannot stop in between the starting point and the destination point, in order to win the race. Therefore, prior to explaining what diet a runner needs to take at what time, some general guidelines for building stamina would be explained first. The key secret of a successful runner is control of heart beat. In order to achieve that, it is necessary that a runner does not smoke. Smoking drastically reduces stamina. Besides, a runner should try to keep taking longer breaths. This practice would relax the heart which would allow more exertion in return. Now, the nutritional guidelines a runner needs to follow are as follows:
Diet for runners:
A good intake of carbohydrates and proteins a couple of hours (generally 2 to 4) before the practice lends the muscles the energy they would require to win the runner the race. A well-hydrated body would perform better than an otherwise body. “If you hydrate and fuel before you train and compete, your body will do a better job of cooling itself, and your muscles will have more energy.” (Jensen, n.d.).
400 – 600 ml
2 – 4 hrs before running
Needed for tough exercise
250 – 500 ml or as needed
During breaks in the exercise
Body hydration + sodium intake
Regulates body temperature to enhance performance
Fresh fruits / eggs
Both before and after the exercise
Needed to repair and build muscles
Examples of foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins:
Pasta, cheese, low-fat milk, low-fat yoghurt, honey, fruits and vegetables, are some sources of the required nutrients. The runners should choose from these sources and combine as liked to make a diet rich in taste and nutritional value to ensure good performance in running.
Jensen, Christopher, D. “Sports Nutrition Before, During, and After Training/Competition”. n.d. . 20 March 2010.