Athlete Nutrition Guidelines

The most basic athlete nutrition guidelines involve what you eat, when you eat it, how you eat it, and why.

Daily nutritional needs are similar to non-athletes. New fads and supplements are released every week. They come complete with the latest scientific studies that say they are the next best thing you should be doing. New ones come just as fast as old ones are forgotten.

There is one constant truth. Proper nutrition is essential for optimal athletic performance.

Proper nutrition includes not only what you eat. It also involves what you avoid.

Athlete Nutrition Guidelines

Athletes need to consume about 2,000 or more calories daily. Days of heavy workouts should be supplemented with extra dietary intake.

Daily Recommended Complex Carbohydrates 60% to 75% of total caloric intake.

This could be from 6.5 to 11 grams of per pound of body weight daily.

  • Best Sources:
  • Whole grains are best, or whole grain breads, pasta, brown rice, and whole grain cereals and beans. To get maximum benefit from grains, they need to be cooked under 200 degrees.

    Eat about 6 to 11 servings spread out over the day for energy.

    Daily Recommended Fats 20% to 30% of total calories.

    Fats are are needed for good numerous aspects of health. Fats are involved in proper mental function, hair production, hormonal cycles, and finger and toe nail production.

    Fats should be unsaturated and from vegetable sources like vegetable oil, seeds, nuts, butter. Avoid saturated fats like fatty meats, butter, baked goods.

  • Best kind of fats:
  • Olive oil, vegetable oil, and the omega-3 fatty acids in ocean fish are among the best dietary sources of fats. If you choose to supplement, emulsified cod liver oil would be a good choice.

    Red meats have high amounts of saturated fats. This means athletes need to avoid fast food meats. Not only are they full of the bad fat, they often have monosodium glutamate which is counter productive to the athletic dietary needs.

    Daily Recommended Protein 10% to 15% of total caloric intake. This could be between 2 to 4.5 grams per pound of body weight.

  • Best sources:
  • Meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and dry beans.

    Fish: Rich in selenium, an essential trace element and glutathione cofactor. Studies show that it may protect against both cardiovascular disease and toxic effects of mercury.

    Be careful because meats can have ammonia added to preserve color. They can also be pumped full of meat juices which could include monosodium glutamate, something that would have a negative affect on athletic performance.

    Proper Nutrition for Athletes Main Page

    Healthy Diet for Athletes What is important to consider in a healthy diet for athletes? All protein, endurance, stamina, sudden dramatic strength, which do you need. What about boosting immunity? It is all here.

    Nutrition for Young Athletes looks at the four foundations of proper nutrition. There are no athlete nutrition guidelines for young ones. This can help.

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