Food is fuel to power your workouts and help you achieve your best race performance. Here is a helpful guide for navigating your sports nutrition. A great way to record what you are eating is a nutrition app that will compile the variety of food that you consume.
Carbohydrates should compromise 60-70% calories of your diet. They are what the body prefers to readily use for fuel. An easy way to determine the grams of carbohydrates per day multiple your body weight in pounds by 3.2. A great way to ensure adequate carbohydrates is to have 15 servings per day. This should be made up of whole grains, dairy that is low in fat, fruit and vegetables.
Protein should be 12-15% calories of your nutritional habits. It is important to have adequate protein intake for repair and muscle building. When there aren’t enough carbohydrates to use as fuel then the body uses protein stores for energy. This is an inefficient way to obtain energy. It also depletes the resources needed to build and repair muscles. To find your protein needs multiply your body weight by 0.6 to get the grams per day. Great sources of protein are chicken, turkey, lean red meat, fish (those low in mercury content) and low fat dairy. Vegetarian protein sources include legumes, tofu and nuts. Rice and beans eaten together is a complete protein and is great source of fiber too.
Fat should be no more than 30% fat per day. Saturated fat should be 10% or less of your daily intake. It is not an considered an efficient fuel source. It is slow to convert to energy for endurance performance. It should also be noted that fat is slowly digested and should be avoided before exercise.
Sports nutrition doesn’t have to be difficult to navigate. Adequate nutrition is important to give your body fuel for sports performance and the best tools for recovery. The above mentioned practices will help you on the path to successfully achieve your goals.