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How and when does a sportsman have to eat

Water and Pasta in the sportsmen diet

Athletes, and in general all those who often take physical activity, represent one of the few categories of people who keep up a great energy expense in modern life, generally very automized and sedentary. The consumption can reach a total of 3500-4500 calories burned a day, according to the intensity, duration and type of activity.

A sportsman alimentation must consider the energy requirements and, in general, the diet composition has to be structured on the base of the food chain model (in the photo above), which provide a caloric supply constituted of:

  • at least 50% carbohydrates from cereals (bread, pasta, rice) vegetables and fruit;
  • a 20% dairy products and meat;
  • the remaining 30% of fats.

Those who practice sports can thus eat all kinds of foods regularly, always integrating fresh fruit and vegetables, trying not to overindulge in sweets, proteins and animal fats. The consumption of food must be divided within the day in at least 4-5 meals. The last important meal must be eaten at least three hours before taking exercise, choosing foods, which are easily digestible and one can have a light snack, possibly fresh fruit, at least three quarters of an hour prior to exercise.

A particularly important issue is that of the athlete’s fluid requirement. Those who practice sports on a regular basis sweat a lot, and in the sweat, they loose both water and minerals, which must be replaced accordingly. The replacement of sweat loos is extremely important; a 4-5% reduction in water can in fact influence negatively the performance. The consequences of dehydration can be muscular cramps, vertigo, headaches, nausea and hypothermia, which can bring to a heat stroke. The popular believe shared by many that one must not drink during physical exercise is in fact incorrect. One must not exaggerate however and take liquids slowly in small sips, this way the water is immediately absorbed by the system and the water and mineral equilibrium is restored.

Besides tap water, usually rich in minerals, and mineral water (preferably enriched with potassium, magnesium and calcium) there are many drinks on sale specifically designed for sports activities, which are rich in glucose and minerals.



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