When we think of sports nutrition, what is it that’s going to make it golden? It is, indeed, one of the top questions that everyone has. Every athlete who is serious about his / her performance must have Nutrition as part of their trainings.
With the Rio Olympics rolling off to a successful ending, what caught everyone’s eye are the performances of our atheletes P V Sindhu and Sakshi malik. So, what does it take to make such champions?
To begin with Nutrition is important as it provides source of energy required to perform the activity. It is not just the type of food that goes in to the body, but, also the time we eat throughout the day has an impact on performance levels and the ability to recover after exercising.
Pre – Workout:
The prework out goal of every athlete is to be fueled, hydrated and comfortable. The ideal timing of a pre workout meal depends on individual comfort and performance, as well as the intensity of exercise planned. Generally sports medical guidelines suggest that a meal or series of snacks be consumed 1 to 4 hours before exercise. The goal is to allow ingested carbohydrates to be absorbed and stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen.
Foods best suited for the pre workout meal are carbohydrate rich, low to moderate protein and easily digested typically low fat and low fiber choices.
Sample Pre work out foods:
- Fruits and low fat yogurt
- Sandwiches made with lean meat or peanut butter
- Energy bars
- Cereals and millets (Oats, wheat flakes, ragi, bajra) with milk
- Whole wheat pasta and rice based dishes with low added fat
Post – Workout:
As all types of workouts use carbohydrate for energy, muscle carbohydrate depletion is inevitable. Therefore, a post workout meal, high in carbohydrate is required to refill muscle carbohydrate/energy store. Research has shown that a carbohydrate intake of 0.8 g per Kg of body weight maximizes glycogen synthesis and accelerates protein repair while preventing excess fat gain.
Since muscle protein is degraded during workout, the addition of a relatively large amount of protein in post workout meal is necessary to help rebuild the structural aspects of the muscle. Post workout meal should be rich in protein and carbohydrates and free from fat. Eating fat during the post workout period may slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and proteins. Finally the important factor to be considered is the timing of this meal. It is absolutely crucial that to consume post workout meal immediately after workout.
Sample Post workout foods:
- Fruits like banana, grapes and watermelon juice 300 – 400 ml
- Glucose mixed with water 300 – 400 ml
- Whey protein with water
- Boiled egg