Numerous years of toiling out in the sports area and hard work are some of the factors that fuel the strength, speed, flexibility and grace of Olympic athletes.
Nutrition is like one of the legs of a three-legged stool that supports an athlete’s performance. However hard you may train and even if athletics is in your genes, you cannot achieve anything without proper food and fluid intake.
Registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com are constantly engaged in finding innovative ways to feed athletes to help them attain maximum benefit while training. Different athletes in the same team require different nutritional needs and giving one solution for the entire athletic team is helpful in no way. For example, the field hockey goalie is different from a midfielder who needs to run around constantly during a match. Hence, changing dietary intake based on physiological demands of the player (position, in this case) is critical.
Nutrition needs of athletes are drastically different from that of the general public. For example, Michael Phelps followed an 8,000- to 10,000-calorie-per-day diet while training for the 2008 Olympics which is far greater from the calorie needs of a common man. The International Olympics Committee advises athletes to eat enough carbohydrate-rich foods to enrich muscle glycogen stores before training or competition and also to replenish lost stores after a hard day at the training camp. The timing of your protein consumption can promote muscle protein synthesis.
RDNs can help athletes make healthful food choices and design smart on-court hydration plans. Matches can stretch for longer hours, 4 to 5 hours with multiple sets, and athletes do need plenty of fluids like high-carbonated sport drinks with packets of electrolytes and energy-rich snacks such as energy bars, bananas and gels to help them replace on-court losses. Athletes strive in every way possible and proper nutrition with the aid of an RDN can help them achieve their goal.