What To Eat? What To Avoid?
As you already know, nutrition is important to become a better athlete. But what should you eat? And what should you avoid eating?
- Lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts
- Carbohydrates coming from cereals and grains (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes)
- A lot of fish and eggs
- Dairy products daily, mostly natural yoghurt and cheese
- Sometimes red meat
- Between 2-2.5l of water daily
- Packaged, processed meats
- Fast food like pizza or hamburgers
- Soft drinks like coca cola or sprite
- White bread
- Potato chips
- Factory baked goods like cookies
- Sugary cereals and cereal bars
- Sugary dairy products like ice cream
The key is to eat a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and to consume the right amount of food and drink.
The pre-match meal should contain sufficient carbohydrates, without much protein and with little fat and water amount. It should be consumed 2-3h before the match. You should avoid sauces or spices, eat slowly and chew food well to ensure it is digested properly.
After the match make sure you stay hydrated and drink enough fluids. It is necessary to eat foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins with a low fat intake throughout the two hours immediately after the game.
To help your muscles relax and recover as soon as possible it is important to eat foods rich in potassium such as bananas, dried fruit or vegetables.
- References:Ūdre, V., 2000. Vispārējā un Sporta Bioķīmija II Daļa [General and Sports Biochemistry Part II]. Rīga: LSPA (in Latvian) / Victor, K.L., William, D.M. and Frank, I.K., 2011. Essentials of exercise physiology.