Video #1: Achieve Your Goal
If you want to be as good as you can be in your chosen sport you need to get the right amount of nutrition. If you eat a balanced diet which includes food from each of the
five food groups everyday and drink plenty of water you will have the right amount of energy to allow your body to perform at it’s best. By eating right and exercising regularly you will have the strength and endurance needed to fulfil your potential and achieve your goals.
The most important factor in sports nutrition is hydration – you must drink enough water. Everyone should drink about 2 litres of water a day but if you are training or playing sport you should drink more. Try to drink small amounts regularly throughout the game or training session. This is better than one big drink. Cold water will help to keep your body temperature down.
Most sports drinks have too much nutrients in them and should be mixed with water about half and half. Remember you should drink water before, during and after the game even if you don’t feel thirsty and especially in hot weather.
Eating for training and competition
You should eat a balanced diet to get the right combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This will give you the energy you need to perform at your best.
This is the type of food best for giving your body the energy you need to play and train hard. You can find this energy source in fruits, vegetables, pasta, breads, cereals, rice, and other foods. Your body stores the energy from carbohydrates in the liver and muscles and this gives you the stamina to perform high intensity activities over short periods. If you run out of carbohydrate energy while playing or training your body will start to burn up fat and protein for energy which will cause your performance level to drop. This will happen if you exercise for more than an hour without taking in more carbohydrates or if you start exercising with low levels of stored carbohydrate energy.
To maximise your energy levels for training and competition you should eat carbohydrates for several days before the event to store up the energy and eat more carbohydrates during the game to give you give you extra energy.
Video #3: Meat an Dairy Foods
This type of nutrient is good for strength and for building new muscle tissue. You can get proteins from meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, milk, cheese, yogurt and other foods. You should have some proteins every day but when you start training and want to build up your muscles you should eat more protein than normal.
Your body cannot store protein so it turns it into fat. When you run out of carbohydrate energy the fat is then converted into energy.
Before the game
The food you eat in the few days leading up to an event will affect how well your body performs. Keep your diet balanced ensuring you get nutrition from all five food groups. After your last training session eat meals that are high in carbohydrates to start storing energy for the game.
What you eat on the day of competition should keep your blood sugar level adequate and help to maintain hydration. In the morning don’t eat high protein or high fat foods as these will take a long time to digest. Have a high carbohydrate breakfast and then eat more carbohydrates 3 to 4 hours before the game. Choose easily digestible foods (not fried).
Drink liquids 2 to 3 hours before the event but don’t have any sugary foods of drinks within 1 hour before the game. Drink half a litre of water 1 to 2 hours before the game and another quarter of a litre 15 to 30 minutes before the start. You should drink a cup (0.15 litres) of water or diluted sports drink every 10 to 20 minutes during the game.
After the game it is important to replenish the water you have lost through sweat. You should drink about half a litre of water slowly while you cool down even if you don’t feel thirsty.
To aid recovery after a period of intense physical exertion such as training or competing in sports events you should eat a high carbohydrate recovery snack within 30 minutes of the game. Even though you don’t feel like eating it will help your body recover from the stress of extreme physical exertion. Snacks could include; sandwiches, muesli bars, fruit, low fat fruit muffin or liquid meal supplements.
Find out more about nutrition requirements for your particular sport .