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Guide posted by Arnaud M in Food and Drink Advisors

General nutrition rules for sportsmen and sportswomen

  • Eating more meals per day helps the metabolism to maintain a constant flux of energy and reduces the likelihood for your body to store fat. Each meal has to be smaller than the regular “3 meals per day”. It`s important to pay attention to the quantity and the time when the meals are consumed because the effectiveness of the process can be strongly influenced.
  • Eating “bad“ snacks and drinking sodas is strongly not advised. This type of food often contains an important amount of sugar, salt or fat and could dramatically affect your diet. Too much sugar has a dramatic impact on your insulin metabolism and leads to fat storage and fatigue. However, products such as bananas, yoghurt, energy helps to maintain the energy body level.
  • It is overriding to drink water as much as possible. Water keeps your body hydrated and help to prevent injuries. Don`t wait to be thirsty to drink, drink at regular intervals ( at least every 15 minutes).
  • Stay away from bad fat: Vegetal/animal fat. Good fat can be found in olive oil, fish or peanut butter.
  • It`s advised to eat a small meal rich in protein 1-2 hours before a competition or any physical effort (liquid meals can be consumed closer to the sport event, because liquids are more easily digestible). It will provide to your body energy and will prevent you to feel sluggish or lightheaded during the effort.
  • Products such as meat, pastries, potato chips, fried food should be avoided within the 3 hours before a sport session because they have the particularity to be hard to digest.
  • Rich carbohydrate food is strongly advised before sport. It includes products such as pastas, cereal and potato. During sport breaks, consuming carbohydrate helps to delay fatigue and maintain exercise intensity.

Responses (3)

this article is excellent. the only thing I would add, is that it is important now to drink to thirst, rather than drinking as much water as possible. drinking ad libitum is what we recommend at the International Marathon Medical Directors association, as drinking too much water can actually cause hyponatraemia during prolonged exercise. drinking to thirst, and drinking carbohydrate and electrolyte drinks is the way forward

Andrew M responded Comment

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are pickles and sunflower seeds bad snacks

Bryan A responded Comment

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actually, the latest research shows that eating more then three times a day triggers the brain to ask for more food then the body really needs.. because hungry is a instinctual feeling which most of us are sort of unable to really resist. If your body gets used to a lot of small meals every day the hunger feeling will come up much quicker in between those meals. It's your body's way of setting your internal clock to that schedule of a lot of small meals throughout the day and making sure that you stick to it.  

So basically your hunger feeling as a rule is meant to be strong enough all the time to start to look for food and so if you give your body more "feeding moments" ona  regular basis then your body will react to that with more hunger feelings to make sure those feeding moments will remain. 

Guido V responded Comment

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