Maintaining a healthy diet is important for each and every person. Having a healthy body lowers the risk of chronic disease, improves skin and bone health, provides energy throughout the day, and much more. However, athletes physically require a proper and nutritious diet that is very high in calories. Without good nutrition, an athlete’s performance and overall health can be negatively impacted.
If you plan to earn a nutrition, health and sport diploma you will learn all about the basics of nutrition, the important role that food plays in the body, the importance of fitness, and the risk of disease. You will also be taught the reasons why maintaining good nutrition is so important for athletes in particular. Read on for a quick guide on how athletes benefit from a good diet.
Enhanced Performance and Energy
Individuals enrolled in nutrition and health programs know that athletes generally consume a lot of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. This is mainly because these items are responsible for providing the nourishment that is needed for an athlete to maintain his or her energy. Carbohydrates are one of the most important forms of nourishment, because they regulate the body’s blood sugar and prevent muscles from tiring. Protein is also extremely important, as protein molecules are responsible for building new muscle tissue and providing energy.
Most people try to avoid eating foods that are particularly high in fats because of the stigma associated with fat and weight gain. However, fat actually provides athletes with essential fatty acids, which provide energy and nutrients for the body.
Water is crucial to human survival. In fact, our brain is made up of 95% water while our blood is 82%, and our lungs 90%. So naturally, it makes sense that athletes would require even more water than the average person, since they are constantly working out and sweating. Professionals who have had nutrition and health training understand the dangers of dehydration, and since athletes are often engaged in physical activity, the risk of becoming dehydrated is extremely high for them. Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, constipation and light-headedness—all which can have a debilitating effect on an athlete.
Maintaining a healthy weight is something that everyone can benefit from, and as it turns out, good nutrition provides weight control! While some sports require athletes to gain muscle and weight (such as wrestling), others require them to lose weight (such as gymnastics). Normally, if someone were looking to shed a few pounds they would simply decrease their caloric intake. However, in an athlete’s case, decreasing his or her daily caloric intake could negatively affect their performance and health. Experts recommend that these individuals instead opt for lean proteins, low-fat dairy products and whole grains so that they still receive the nutrients and energy required to perform, while slimming down and toning at the same time.
How will nutrition and health training prepare you to create nutritious diet plans for athletes?