If you are an athlete or an extremely active individual, you need a diet that can keep up with your high-performance demands and help you recover quickly afterward. This is especially true if you are doing something that takes a lot of endurance at a high-intensity level.
Anytime you are working out at this high intensity for 60 to 90 minutes, such as runners, basketball players, soccer players or any other fast-paced sport, your body needs extra fuel.
Dr. Stephen Kollias, OrthoIndy sports medicine specialist shares five nutrition guidelines that will help keep your body-powered.
Nutritional tips for athletes
1. Don’t be afraid of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates give your body the energy it needs to work out for over an hour. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to eat a lot of bread and pasta. Healthy carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains.
2. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the entire day. Intense exercise means your body will be sweating, which can lead to dehydration. So drink plenty of water and sports drinks. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to get your fluids either, if you are feeling thirsty it means your body is already showing signs of dehydration.
3. Eat protein. Although protein doesn’t necessarily give the body energy it, it helps build muscle. Eat high-quality protein such as lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts and eggs. However, be careful on the amount of protein you eat; too much protein can put a strain on your kidneys.
4. Get plenty of sleep. Let your body recover so you feel energized the next day. Even eating all the right foods and drinking plenty of fluids won’t energize you if you are lacking sleep. Make sure you let your body catch up on sleep so you can wake up each day enthusiastic and ready to live a healthy lifestyle.
5. Don’t skip breakfast. We have all heard it before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is especially true for athletes. Breakfast helps energize you in the morning and keep you going strong the whole day.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kollias, please call 317.802.2817.
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