Newspaper Article Assignment
March 18, 2008
The Importance of Nutrition in Athletic Performance
“You Compete How You Eat”
Are you an athlete? Are you looking for an advantage over your competition? For a number of years, athletes have been searching to find an edge over their competition. Something that is obvious but is often over looked, is nutrition. What athletes eat and drink can optimize athletic performance and decrease recovery times by making sure that an athlete meets their energy and hydration requirements. Without proper nutrition, even physical conditioning and expert coaching is not enough to allow an athlete to be the best they can be. Good nutrition must be apart of all training programs for an athlete to succeed at the highest level. Here is some information and a few tips to help an athlete along their path to success.
During competitions and training there is a high demand for energy and macro-nutrients. Athletes should have a focus on a high intake of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main fuel (45-65%) that is used by the body during exercise and they are stored in the muscles as a glycogen. Exercise that lasts longer than 90 minutes depletes those stores and that is why it is so important to replace them with foods that are high in carbohydrates. Such foods are, grains or vegetables and fruit.
Along with carbohydrates, fat and protein are also important in maintaining energy needs. Many athletes assume that a high protein and a low-fat diet are the answers to better success. While protein is needed for energy (10-35%) and is important in repairing tissue damage it is not something that you need huge excess amounts of. Excellent sources of protein are foods such as meat, fish, poultry and milk.
Fat should also provide a small percentage of the energy (20-25%) needed for exercise and essential fat soluble vitamins. While many think it would be best to consume as little fat as...