If you are a gym lover, you have to remember that your body needs proper nutrition in order to serve you well during training. Without it, you will quite quickly lose strength, and your performance will drop significantly.

Nutrients are essential for the proper functioning of the body, not only for athletes. These include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water. Especially the last one is often forgotten, and without water, a lot of vitamins like C, A, or B won’t dissolve and reach your body cells.

Nutrients like proteins provide the important building material. In the top review on premier protein you will find that they are essential for the creation, reconstruction, and maintenance of muscles. They also serve as a “fuel,” providing energy to your tissues and helping to regulate processes in the body. Remembering about proper nutrition is going to give you the power and strength to perform better at the gym.

This article will show you which nutrients are essential in an athlete’s diet and where you can find them.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates play a massive role in the athlete’s diet. They can account for up to 60% of the daily energy supply. The most important energy source for working muscles is the polysaccharide – glycogen stored in the muscles and the liver. These resources decrease at an alarming rate during intense physical exertion, and after each training session, they are renewed. For this process to happen, an adequate supply of carbohydrates is necessary.

Sources: pasta, energy bars, sweet fruits

Proteins

Proteins are also an essential part of every athlete’s diet. The supply of this nutrient should be moderate – approximately 15% of the daily energy dose. Muscle proteins are exploited during exercise and exposed to degradation. However, the amino acids that build them can become energy sources only when all other donors (glycogen, blood glucose, fatty acids) are depleted. Thus, excessive protein consumption is not recommended because it is useful only as a last resort during exercise.

Sources: eggs, milk, soybeans

Fats

Fat consumption should be at a low level of approx. 25% of the total energy supply. Currently, there is no confirmation in scientific studies that a diet rich in fat is healthy for an athlete. Emphasis should be put on an adequate intake of carbohydrates and proteins.

When it comes to fats, you need to pay attention to saturated fatty acids (EFA). These are fatty acids that can be found in animal products and tropical oils (palm and coconut). It is recommended to minimize their amount in the diet since they contribute to the growth of harmful low-density lipoproteins (LDL).

Sources: avocado, fish

Vitamins

The need for vitamins increases significantly when intense physical exertion is undertaken. B vitamins play a special role in the athlete’s energy metabolism. They allow for the maintenance of optimal efficiency, strength, and muscle mass. There are many helpful supplements available from Primal Harvest.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is involved in the transformation of sugar, facilitating the acquisition of energy from carbohydrate combustion, thus reducing lactic acid production.

Sources: grain products, dry legume seeds

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is a component of enzymes involved in protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism, and energy production in the respiratory chain. It also contributes to the growth of amino acid transformations, protein synthesis, and increased strength and muscle mass.

Sources: chicken liver, potatoes.

Minerals

Among the minerals important in sport are the electrolytes lost in quite significant amounts with sweat: calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.

Calcium – Essential for the muscles to contract. It is responsible for proper nerve and neuromuscular conduction, coagulability, and blood vessel tightness. Its deficiency causes muscle pain and may even lead to muscle damage.

Sources: eggs, cheese

Magnesium – Participates in energy production processes at the cellular level and the synthesis of body proteins. It affects the digestive, endocrine, and immune systems, thermoregulation, and protects against stress.

Sources: brown rice, oatmeal

Sodium – Associated with the acid-base balance of the body and the activity of the nervous and muscular systems.

Source: salt

Potassium – Regulates the transport of glucose through the cell membrane. It is involved in the synthesis and storage of glycogen in muscles, and the correct conduction of impulses.

Sources: tomatoes, bananas, watermelon

Water

Well, fluids for an athlete are vital because of the intense sweating during exercise. However, you cannot rely on mineral water alone. Recommended are carbohydrate drinks in the form of fruit and vegetable juices, or special isotonic drinks developed for athletes. They provide minerals in an amount corresponding to their concentration inside the body, which does not disturb the electrolyte balance and helps to maintain a constant osmotic pressure.

Conclusion

Fitness lovers are a group of people with particular nutritional needs. It is associated with enormous physical effort and energy expenditure that they incur almost every day.

To meet the body’s needs and provide it with “fuel,” an athlete should take care of a proper diet, consisting of the necessary nutrients. Not a single ingredient from those listed above can be omitted as the human body is such a complex mechanism that won’t work well without them.

This article is written by Paula Sieracka.