Athletes are often asked to push their bodies beyond normal tolerance levels, resulting in increased risk of tissue injury. They lose more sweat and burn more calories than a normal person. All of these reasons mean that an athlete has to adapt a diet to correspond with their unusual needs.

Often times athletes are uneducated in their nutritional needs. There are many fad diets, athletic supplements, and overall nutritional controversies. So, it is no wonder that many athletes have no clue what, when, or how they should eat. For example, some trainers will put their athlete on a high fat diet or high protein diet to boost endurance. Meanwhile, other trainers restrict fats and carbohydrates; claiming sluggishness.

diet fruits assortment Most experts will advise the average athlete to avoid high fat diets. There has been a growing prevalence in health problems with retired athletes. They ingest tremendous amounts of fats and the body becomes accustom to eating these foods. Once retired, the athlete decreases exercise, but never decreases the high fat diet. Without the rapid excretion of the fats, they clog arteries and attribute to heart disease.

Some of the controversy around balanced diets for athletes may be attributed to the tendency for a one size fits all mentality. An athletic diet can not be all inclusive, because no two sports have the same requirements. For example, a golfer is not going to burn the calories that a basketball player will. Individual athletes are going to vary in size, metabolism, sex, height, excretion habits, and weight. These individualized factors mean that there can not be an all inclusive diet. Climate, weather conditions, and yearly seasons play a role in dietary needs. In the winter time or cold climates, athletes will not sweat as much. thereby they will not need as many calories.

A dietician or nutritional expert is the best way to provide individualized balanced diets for athletes. A nutritional expert can measure how many calories are being burned per day and how much fluid is lost per day. They will also take age, weight, height, injury, etc.. into account. Many of the above misconceptions come from a layman (like trainers) providing rudimentary nutritional advice, without taking in account all athletes and sports are not the same.

However, every athlete should eat at least the recommended balanced diet; as defined by the food guide pyramid. The basic groups are:

Bread, cereal, rice and pasta {minimal serving 6}

Fruit {minimal serving 3}

Vegetables {minimal serving 3}

Milk, yogurt and cheese {minimum serving 2}

Meat, poultry, fish dry beans, eggs and nuts {minimum serving 5oz}

Added fats & oils {5tsp}

Added sugar {11tsp}

Again, a nutritionist is the best way to determine how much and often these foods should be consumed. The listed amounts are based on the minimum 1600 calorie diet. This is just the beginning of a balanced diets for athletes. Most athletes generally need more than a minimum diet.


About the Author

Candis Reade is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about Balanced Diets For Athletes, please visit Practical Diets Now for current articles and discussions.


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