Why is an Athlete’s Diet Important?
Although most athletes are and look fit and healthy, a good number ignore the importance of indulging in a proper diet.
As a football player, it is easy to scoff at experts constantly reminding you of the dangers of some diets by convincing yourself that you’ll burn off the extra weight quickly since you lead an active lifestyle.
Generally, most people convince themselves that a poor diet is not as dangerous as made out. For a professional athlete, such assumptions are misguided and may cost you a lot. Everything boils down to the fact that the human body needs optimal fuel for peak performance, especially among athletes and people leading very active lifestyles.
Athletes who ignore their nutrition are likely to develop completely avoidable health problems. Ultimately, it may culminate into more severe illnesses or conditions that adversely impact your performance. A marathoner’s diet will probably be different from a quarter back’s diet.
Similarly, a gambler playing his favorite slot games on Slots Capital casino from his couch requires a lower energy diet than a pro tennis player. Here are some issues athletes tend to encounter when they don’t eat the right foods.
Eat right and avoid….
1. Immunity suppression
During training, the body produces substantial amounts of stress hormones. Subsequently, your body experiences increased growth and taps into the energy reserves, including body fat. If your stress levels remain high, your immunity is negatively affected.
That is why athletes experience low blood sugar when their carb reserves are depleted during training or playing, significantly impairing their immune function. A balanced diet is essential to meet your carbohydrate needs depending on your activity levels. Avoiding overconsumption of refined carbs, such as processed foods, will also work in your favor.
2. Low performance
Poor performance is a legitimate concern in professional sports. When competing or training, the body uses significant levels of energy. This energy comes from fat, protein, and carbohydrate reserves in the body cells. If you don’t incorporate the correct amounts of these nutrients in your diet, you’ll probably not be able to perform optimally.
Healthy foods for athletes
1. Whole grains
For a good diet, forego white bread and rice for some whole grains. Your body needs a certain percentage of fiber daily for proper digestion. Refined carbs like white bread, white rice, and pasta do not contain sufficient fibers like whole grains. They also have additional nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids.
Fibers are fantastic for gut health. Seventy percent of the body’s immune cells are in the colon lining. So the healthier your gut is, the better your overall health and performance. Opt for nutritious and fibrous whole grains since you need sufficient energy during training and matches.
2. Lean proteins
Lean proteins are an excellent source of proteins. They are also great for the gut. Every athlete needs proteins, especially since they are more susceptible to injuries and tissue damage due to the nature of professional sports. These proteins are especially great for athletes with bowel sensitivity or IBS.
Unlike red meats, lean meats such as salmon and chicken contain lower fat levels. They also encourage healthy bacteria to thrive inside your gut, thus lowering your susceptibility to artery-clogging. This severe condition could trigger a heart attack while out on the field if it goes unchecked.
3. Low-fructose fruits
If you are a frequent victim of bloating, heartburn, and gas, it might be due to consuming a high-fructose diet. For a sustainable solution to such issues, you are better off steering clear of fruits like mangoes, apples, and pears that contain high fruit sugar levels.
In contrast, eating berries like raspberries and citruses like oranges during your training breaks will benefit your gut. They don’t contain high fructose levels, meaning you will be less likely to experience gas and bloating.
4. Leafy greens
These vegetables tend to crop up in many healthy foods discussions for a good reason. Leafy greens like collards, kale, and spinach are great sources of vitamin C, K, and A. Besides that, they are good sources of fiber. Eating a lot of leafy greens will aid digestion, improve your body activity and promote the development of an ideal microbiome within your gut.
Almost everyone with access to the internet knows that avocados are superfoods. They are packed with essential nutrients like potassium and fiber. Their properties promote healthy digestion, thus significantly minimizing issues like constipation. Avocados are low-fructose fruits, so you are less likely to get gas after consuming them.
Bloating can be very uncomfortable when playing on the field. Avocados are nutrient-dense but also high in fat. Because of their high-fat content, you should eat them in moderation.
The bottom line
As a professional football player, good health is critical. The issues disclosed above are just a few of the numerous issues you expose yourself to when indulging in poor nutrition. It is still okay to indulge in snacks every once in a while.
Working with a professional nutritionist will help you develop a personalized plan in your line of sport. By incorporating some of the foods above into your meals, you’ll be well on your way toward becoming a healthy star athlete.