Healthy Living

Articles to Better Your Health

Food Fuel for the Sports Athlete


Food fuel fo the Sports Athlete

Food gives us energy and fuels physical activity. Not eating enough can cause a drop in energy and endurance levels and, in the world of sports, can lead to painful losses. This is why athletes learn quickly to pack that  energy bar just in case.

But food is not only good as energy sources to our muscles. They also hold substances that promote our health, boost our immunity to sicknesses, promote tissue repair, protect cells from damage, protect against age-related cognitive decline and increase resistance to cancers, and other illnesses, all of which are important to maintaining good performance and longevity in sports. These protective substances are commonly known as phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals, although not providing any energy, essential vitamins, or minerals, still are an important component of any athlete’s sport nutrition. Phytochemicals means “chemicals from plants.” Vegetables and fruits therefore are excellent sources.

Color means protection

vegetables and fruits have high levels of phytochemicals. In most cases, Colorful skins of fruits and vegetables have the most concentrated source of protective nutrients.

A U.S. National Cancer Institute program uses color categories, highlighting the protective compounds predominant in each color of fruit or vegetable.

RED

Red fruits maintains heart health, memory function, lowers risk to some cancers, and ensures urinary tract health. Lycopene and anthocyanins are available in red fruits and vegetables. Lycopede reduces the risk of several types of cancer, heart and lung disease. Anthocyanins helps protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots. Both may slow the cell aging process.

ORANGE / YELLOW

Beta-carotene is abundant in orange and yellow substances. It is an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, maintain eyesight, help boost the immune system, and promote repair of damaged DNA. With Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids which are also contained in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, help reduce the risk of cancer, strengthen bones and teeth, heal wounds, keep skin healthy and lower the risk of heart attacks.

BLUE / PURPLE

Anthocyanins and Phenols make up blue and purple fruits and vegetables. Research says they may help reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s and may have anti-aging effects.

GREEN

Green fruits and vegetables are among the best sources of lutein. Lutein helps reduce the risk of cataracts and mascular degeneration, which can cause loss of vision. Green vegetables are also rich in sulforaphane, isocyanate and indoles which hamper the action of carcinogens.

WHITE

Allicin, which are found in garlic, leeks, and onions, helps control blood pressure and cholesterol. It looks like it also increases the body’s ability to fight infection. Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, and mushrooms contain selenium. Both are also cancer-fighting.

Because they protect your body from injuries, diseases and untimely aging, colorful vegetables and fruits must be first in mind when buying food to maintain good sports nutrition.

Essentials for fast recovery

Proper recovery is also a main concern in sports nutrition. Sufficient rest and sleep allows the body’s systems to recuperate from training stress and makes you stronger and faster. Training gains can be maximized, recovery process speeded up and performance enhanced by correct food and liquid consumption after workout.

Fluid replacement

Timing is everything. After cooling down at the end of each workout, rehydration should be top priority. Drink enough to replace the fluids you sweated out. It is right after exercise that muscles are most receptive to replenishing glycogen stores.

These times, blood flow is on the increase and muscle membranes are more permeable to glucose and the effects of insulin which promotes glycogen synthesis. During this “glycogen window” (which lasts up to an hour) muscles replenish glycogen up to three times faster than at other times.

Second carbo-loading

High-carb foods and beverages are best for fast recovery. Including protein with these foods (4:1 ratio of carbs to protein) enhances muscle repair and glycogen replacement.

The amount of food you need depends on the extent of the depletion of glycogen stores. How much food you need depends on the extent that your activity depleted your glycogen stores.

For a minimum of 2 hours of exercise, sports nutrition experts recommend around 1-1.5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight within 15 minutes after cessation of exercise and every two hours until your next complete meal. That’s around 50-120 grams or 200-480 calories of carbohydrates for most athletes.

Adding Reliv Classic, Provantage, or Innergize are great nutritional supplements to add to your diet.

 Did you find this post educational? Would love to hear from you! Comment below!

Cheers to Your Optimal Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

Advertisements

May 9, 2010 - Posted by | Nutrition, Sports Nutrition | , , , , , ,

9 Comments »

  1. Nice work buddy! Some of these are classics!

    Comment by symptoms of vitamin d deficiency | June 6, 2010 | Reply

  2. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian, Satellite Direct Tv

    Comment by GaunnyKak | May 19, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you for the taking the time to comment. Appreciate it. If you have any question or suggestions on what you would like to hear more about let me know. Hope you are having an amazing day. Cheers to Your Optimal Health! Katrina

      Comment by Katrina van Oudheusden (Independent Reliv Distributor) | May 20, 2010 | Reply

  3. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I’m sure you had fun writing this article.

    Comment by bestonlinecasino | May 12, 2010 | Reply

  4. Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

    Comment by Norton Feeler | May 12, 2010 | Reply

  5. You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.

    Comment by Richard Wright II | May 12, 2010 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: