Nutrition for Athletic Performance

Maximizing Athletic Performance: The Role of Nutrition

Nutrition is crucial for athletic performance and recovery, whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior. In this article, we’ll explore the key aspects of sports nutrition, including carbohydrates, calorie tracking, weight management, sugar, and hydration.

Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy to the body, especially for athletes. Sports dietitian Georgia Bevan recommends consuming 7-8 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight on game day. For example, a 70-kilogram athlete would need around 400 grams of carbs. Carbohydrates fuel muscles, providing the energy needed for intense physical activity.

While some athletes track calories, it’s not common practice. Instead, focusing on educational approaches like monitoring macronutrients or portion sizes is recommended. By understanding the nutritional composition of food, athletes can optimize their performance without getting bogged down in calorie calculations.

Athletes often struggle with weight management, falling into the trap of excessive restriction. Georgia advises against this, emphasizing the importance of fueling training with complex carbohydrates. Restrictive diets can lead to overeating post-game, so athletes should focus on nourishing their bodies with nutrient-dense foods to support training and recovery.

Despite its bad reputation, sugar plays a crucial role in sports nutrition as a fast fuel source. Georgia educates athletes on its importance during training and games. Sugary foods like Gatorade provide quick energy, vital for maintaining performance levels during intense physical activity.

Proper hydration is vital for athletic performance. Georgia recommends monitoring urine color as an indicator of hydration levels. Clear urine may indicate overhydration, while a pale yellow color suggests optimal hydration. Additionally, strategies like electrolyte supplementation and timing meals can help athletes stay hydrated during training and competition.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Best foods to eat before and after a game
  • Should footballers be counting calories?
  • Advice to reduce body fat and body weight
  • Nutrition misconceptions and how she educates athletes
  • Tips to prevent overhydration and finding the right balance
Listen: iTunes | Spotify

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