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Healthy Meal Plans For Athletes

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Our local sports club announced a competition for “developing healthy meal plans for athletes”? I had seen the judges struggling to come up with the winning entries because most of the entries were full of power packed nutrition plans for the upcoming and established athletes. Every year our local sports club organizes such interesting competitions for the local citizens.  During the previous years the sports club management concentrated on the topics that revolved around the development of the club. But this year going against the norms they concentrated on the healthy meal plan ideas for athletes.  


                                                              

Goals, concentration, practice, hard work are the buzzwords that aid an athlete. But these things won't work out if an athlete fails to follow a proper nutrition plan. These things inspired the sports club to go for the development of healthy meal plans for athletes. I am hereby recounting excerpts from the winning entry for the "healthy meal plans for athletes."


 


The nutritional requirements of the athletes are not the same; it will vary from person to person. The body type, physique and sports are some of the criteria which decide the actual course of the nutrition. The diet which may work for a tennis table player, may not work for the golfer or sprinter or a footballer. That means the each athlete or sportsperson will have personalized meal plan. Also, the nutritional requirements of an athlete will vary from his teammates. Keeping these things in mind it is really difficult to come out with healthy meal plans that work for all athletes, but here are some common healthy meal plan ideas that may aid athletes in total.


 


Carbohydrates:  Athletes gain their energy and strength from the carbohydrates stored in the body. Carbohydrates fulfill 40-50% of the energy requirement. Carbohydrates supply more energy per unit oxygen than fats. Normally it is recommended that athletes who plan to go for heavier exercises should intake complex carbohydrate laden foods at least 2-3 days in advance. Complex carb laden healthy meal plans are suitable for athletes who are engaged in sport events such as cycling, swimming, canoe racing, football, etc., because they gain around 70% of their energy from carbs. And following the dietary suggestions by the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs- the healthy meal plans for athletes should involve complex carbohydrates. But overuse of carbohydrates are also not recommended.


 


These carb laden foods featured in the healthy meal plans devised for athletes: Bagel, barley, oatmeal, spaghetti, pasta, muffins, low-fat milk, wheat toast, jelly, ham, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, apple juice, skimmed milk , banana, chickpeas, contain the high amounts of carbohydrates.


 


Proteins: If you plan to devise healthy meal plans for athletes, then don't forget to include proteins. Proteins are important for muscle building and development. The proteins are important for sportspersons concentrating on both light and heavy sports. Proteins supply 1-6% of energy required for the workout. Proteins team up with high-energy carbohydrates to deliver endurance and lasting power. If the protein intake is insufficient, then the high-energy diet fails to deliver the expected results.

These protein laden foods featured in the healthy meal plans devised for the athletes:  Poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, yoghurt, beef, beans, fish, casein protein ,whey protein, etc.


 


 


Image Courtesy: ifood.tv

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