ATHLETIC DIET PLAN GUIDE

Every athlete strives for an edge over the competition. Daily training and recovery require a comprehensive eating plan that matches these physical demands. The keys to peak nutrition performance aimed to complement your training and competition are reviewed below.

Food Energy

 The energy needs of athletes exceed those of the average person. It’s not uncommon for male and female athletes, especially those still growing, to have caloric needs exceeding 2,400-3,000 kcal and 2,200-2,700 kcal per day, respectively. The amount of energy found within a given food is dependent on the macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein and fat) content of the item. 

Macro-nutrientEnergy Content
Carbohydrates4 kcal/gram
Protein4 kcal/gram
Alcohol*7 kcal/gram
Fat9 kcal/gram

*Although alcohol is not considered a macronutrient, it’s important for athletes to realize that it is higher in calories and can contribute to undesirable weight gain.

  • Carbohydrates serve as the primary source of energy during activities of higher intensity. Healthy carbohydrate food sources include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals, breads and pastas.
  • Dietary fat also plays a key role in helping individuals meet their energy needs as well as supporting healthy hormone levels. Healthy sources of fat include nuts, nut butters, avocados, olive and coconut oils. Limit use of vegetable oils such as corn, cottonseed or soybean oil.
  • Dietary protein plays a key role in muscle repair and growth. Preferred sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, dairy (yogurt, milk, cottage cheese) and legumes. 

Planning a Nutritious Meal

Without adequate calories from the healthiest food sources, you will struggle to achieve your performance goals. Plan a nutritious meal by choosing at least one food from each category.

CarbohydratesProteinHealthy Fat
FruitWhole eggs ( white and yolk)Avocado
OatmealGreek yogurtPeanut butter
Starchy vegetables (sweet/white potatoes, squash)MilkNuts and seeds
Non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, leafy greens)String cheeseOlive or canola oil (the latter, if baking)
Whole-grain bread or crackersLean red meatsCoconut oil
High-fiber, non-sugary cerealsPoultryFlax seed (add to baking or cooking)
QuinoaFish 
Brown or wild riceHummus 

Hydration

Adequate hydration is a key element in sports performance. Most athletes benefit from developing a personal hydration plan. A general rule for training is to consume a minimum:

  • Two cups of fluid prior to training
  • Four to six ounces of fluid every 15 minutes of exercise

Your post event/training hydration needs are impacted by your overall pre- to post-fluid losses. To properly assess, weigh yourself immediately prior to and after a workout. For every pound of weight lost, replace with 16 ounces of fluid. Best hydration choices include water, low-fat milk or 100 percent juice. Sports beverages are best reserved for competition, where quick hydration and electrolyte replacement are necessary.

Game Day Nutrition

There are a few golden rules when it comes to eating on game day:

  • Remember, proper nutrition for the “big tournament/race/meet” does not happen on the day of the event alone. It happens the days, weeks, and months leading up to the competition
  • Never experiment with a new dietary/supplement protocol on game day. First, try it out prior to a practice/training session to make sure you tolerate it well.
  • As you get closer to the game/competition, make your meals smaller. Additionally, you may want to limit dairy, fat and fibrous carbohydrate sources during the last one to one and one-half hours pre-event/practice, as these may cause GI issues.

Hydration

Adequate hydration is a key element in sports performance. Most athletes benefit from developing a personal hydration plan. A general rule for training is to consume a minimum:

  • Two cups of fluid prior to training
  • Four to six ounces of fluid every 15 minutes of exercise

Your post event/training hydration needs are impacted by your overall pre- to post-fluid losses. To properly assess, weigh yourself immediately prior to and after a workout. For every pound of weight lost, replace with 16 ounces of fluid. Best hydration choices include water, low-fat milk or 100 percent juice. Sports beverages are best reserved for competition, where quick hydration and electrolyte replacement are necessary.

Game Day Nutrition

There are a few golden rules when it comes to eating on game day:

  • Remember, proper nutrition for the “big tournament/race/meet” does not happen on the day of the event alone. It happens the days, weeks, and months leading up to the competition
  • Never experiment with a new dietary/supplement protocol on game day. First, try it out prior to a practice/training session to make sure you tolerate it well.
  • As you get closer to the game/competition, make your meals smaller. Additionally, you may want to limit dairy, fat and fibrous carbohydrate sources during the last one to one and one-half hours pre-event/practice, as these may cause GI issues.

Still I am not a nutritionist.So I request all my dear readers to check the allergy content if any from doctor. This plan is not for pregnant women. Also do let me know below if this post helped you all or not. Hope it helped the readers.

With lots of love, fitninch team.Have a good day !