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Diet: The Fuel For An Athlete’s Healthy Life

Eating vegetables, grains and seeds, as well as staying hydrated, are key to staying in shape.

Diet plays a vital role in sports performance. Athletes tend to burn large amounts of calories, so they regain energy for the next challenge.

To achieve this, nutritional education is essential because knowing how to combine carbohydrates, vegetables and proteins is vital. Proper nutrition helps athletes keep a fit body and maintain the necessary energy for competitions.

“That is why it is important to know what food should be kept at hand in the pantry, especially if they want to reach the next level,” said Esbeydi Segura, a nutritionist from the Central University of Venezuela.

There is a staple of healthy food that all nutritionists recommend: brown rice. This potent seed has all the elements that an athlete needs. It is rich in fiber and provides a healthy amount of energy, protein and nutrients.

The most suitable diets for athletes are those heavy in green vegetables and fruit. (Joe Holiday/Unsplash)

It is an ingredient in many recipes.

“The most popular ways to prepare brown rice are cooked rice, as an oatmeal drink or as rice pudding,” said the nutritionist.

A high physical performance diet should also include vegetables, mainly greens.

“Greens are recommended because they offer significant amounts of magnesium, folic acid, vitamin K and iron. The best ones are spinach, arugula and chard,” said the specialist.

Another superfood that should always be in the pantry is quinoa because it is rich in protein. It is also beneficial for the digestive process, so athletes seek it as part of their diet.

Like quinoa, natural yogurt should be in an athlete’s fridge. Once training is over, a cup of yogurt will provide the much-needed protein and calcium.

Quinoa is a grain with many beneficial properties for health, in addition to providing energy. (Pierre Bamin/Unsplash)

Further, liquids are an essential element.

“An athlete must always stay hydrated. They must have a water bottle at hand because, without it, they should not even start training. So it is imperative to stay hydrated, during and after exercise,” said Segura.

Natural dried fruit is also rich in unsaturated fats and has many beneficial nutrients. However, it is essential to eat them in measured quantities. “I would advise that people only eat a handful of nuts or dried fruit, as they contain a high number of calories,” said the nutritionist.

With these foods, every athlete will consolidate their workouts and sustain a positive attitude.

(Translated and edited by Mario Alberto Vázquez; edited by Fern Siegel)

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