Athletes Eat High-Energy Foods

Athletes are always trying to boost their energy to get a competitive edge in sports. Some say high-energy eating is the key. Even if you’re moderately active, the right food might rev-up your workout.

These high school soccer players sweat through tough practices and long games. To be sure they have the energy and strength to play hard, they pay close attention to game strategy — and what they eat.

Heather Horigan, soccer player, “I think nutrition plays a big role for athletes, because what you eat is how you keep up your endurance and your energy.”

Erin Herman, soccer player, “You need carbohydrates, but it’s not just carbohydrates, because you need water. You need minerals and other nutrients in order to work.”

Some athletes, especially teenagers, aren’t sure how to eat to compete their best. Dietitian Barbara Day designed a workbook for planning personalized, high-energy meals.

Barbara Day, “A lot of people tell me all the time, ‘I don’t have enough energy,’ and many times they don’t have enough energy because they’re simply not eating enough or eating at the right time.”

All athletes have different goals. Depending on the sport, they may want to increase endurance, add muscle mass or boost metabolism. But Barbara Day says the basics of high-energy eating remain the same: lots of carbohydrates and fluids and low fat.

Barbara Day, “In order to have energy, you have to put the fuel into the body just like you would a car.”

Nutritionists say complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruit, carrots, beans and potatoes boost energy the best. Athletes should eat them in all meals and snacks.

Some athletes, like long-distance runners, use carbo-loading to increase their endurance right before a race. They don’t eat carbohydrates several days before the race, which starves their muscles. Then the day of the competition, they eat a lot of carbs — which their muscles rapidly soak up — and they get the boost called a “runner’s high.”

Source: Ivanhoe News

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