Nutrition Chart and Diet for Athletes
Every athlete should consume a proper balanced diet with essential nutrients and minerals to facilitate a healthy body and mind. Being strong physically will automatically develop a much sharper and smarter brain. The Food Pyramid gives an idea of what an athlete’s daily diet should be like.
Food Pyramid * Water: An athlete should have at least 8 glasses of water a day. To hydrate the body is extremely important, especially during the summer.
* Milk: In order to have strong bones 3 – 4 helpings of milk and dairy products are extremely necessary. Milk is better for an athlete’s recovery post exercise in comparison to sports drinks. * Fruits: 2 servings of fruits a day is important to give the body nutrients that will help the immune system and make healing faster. * Vegetables: Vegetables are an important part of the diet of an athlete, since vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Vegetables can help an athlete prevent injuries, boost his or her metabolism, and help him or her maintain a healthy immune system.
* Protein: Protein is used in your body in many ways. One of its biggest jobs is to build, repair and maintain body organs, tissues, bones, skin, hair and blood. For strong muscles, 2 servings of meat, beans and nuts are very important. Protein is found in many plant foods as well as from animal food sources. Poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds and legumes (beans) are really good sources of protein. * Fats: Fats give the body fuel and a ready source of energy. Fats help to absorb some vitamins. Fat also acts as an insulator and supports important body organs. There are different types of fat and some are better than others. Fatty & sweet foods should be consumed, but in small amounts. * Carbohydrates: 6 servings of prepared cereal, bread, rice or pasta should be eaten by an athlete as carbohydrates are the body’s major source of energy.