Daily Meal Plan For Athletes – Everything to Consider

Every professional athlete dreams of rising to the peak in their sport and achieving this don’t require just training. Essentially, they need to combine daily training with a well-rounded eating plan that fits their physical demands. Here, we’ll review the major meal plan for athletes that can help to keep them fit enough to boost their performance during training and on the field.

How Many Calories Should Athletes Consume?

It’s a known fact that athletes need to consume more calories than an average person. Competitive athletes may need to eat up to 6,000 calories per day for men,  as for women, they need to consume up to 4,000 calories a day. The total amount of energy that can be gotten from a food primarily depends on the content of the macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein and fat) in the item.

Macro-nutrient > Energy content

Carbohydrates > 4 Kcal/gram

Protein > 4 kcal/gram

Fat > 9 kcal/gram

Alcohol* > 7 kcal/gram

a. Carbohydrates function as the main source of energy used to perform activities of high intensity. Some healthy food sources of carbohydrates include bread, vegetables, fruits, whole-grain cereals, as well as pasta.

b. Dietary protein has a major role to play during muscle growth and repair. Great food sources of protein are eggs, lean meats, dairy (such as milk, yoghurt, and cottage cheese), as well as legumes.

c. Although alcohol is not officially considered a macronutrient, athletes should note that it can lead to undesirable weight gain since it has more calories.

d. Dietary fat is another nutrient that plays a major role in helping athletes meet all their energy needs. It also supports healthy hormone levels. Some healthy sources of dietary fat are nuts, avocados, nut butter, olive, as well as coconut oils. Ensure that you reduce the usage of vegetable oils such as soybean oil, corn, or cottonseed oil.

Check Out: Mobile Games that Pays Real Money

Accumulator betting

Tips To Succeed With Balanced Sports Nutrition

Creating the perfect meal plan for athletes is not as difficult as it sounds. Here are a few tips to guide you through this process:

1. Plan to eat an assortment of fruits and vegetables every day.

Your aim should be to consume five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Ensure that you include a variety of them in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are packed with the nutrients that are necessary for physical training and recovery. Also, these foods are antioxidant-rich, hence, they will help you to fight illnesses, such as a cold or the flu.

2. Always go for whole-grain carbohydrate food

Food sources like pasta or whole-wheat bread can help you. Also, include fibre-rich cereals in your diet as power-loaded energy food sources. Ensure that you reduce sugars and refined grains, such as white bread and sugary cereals. You’ll gain more if you consume whole-grain products.

3. Consume healthy food sources of protein

Some good examples of healthy protein food sources include turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, peanut butter, nuts, as well as legumes.

4. Stay hydrated at all times with healthy beverages

This is very important because something as “little” as a two per cent decrease in your hydration level will negatively impact your overall performance. Healthy beverage options include water, milk, sports drinks, and 100 per cent fruit juice. Note that 100 per cent fruit juice and sports drinks are higher in sugar content than milk and water. Also, make sure you don’t confuse or substitute healthy sports drinks like Gatorade with popular “energy” drinks like Red Bull, Monster and other similar beverages.

Discover: Most Athletic Sports in the World

5. Always whole food rather than processed foods

Highly processed foods can deplete your overall energy level quickly. Stay away from foods like:

  • Sugary drinks
  • Syrups and jams
  • Chocolate and candies
  • potato chips
  • Ice cream
  • Bakery products such as muffins and cakes.
  • Fast foods such as French fries and burgers.

virtual leagues

Planning a Nutritious Meal For Athletes

If you don’t have an adequate meal plan for athletes, it can negatively affect an athlete’s overall performance. You must consume enough healthy calories, if not you may struggle to meet your goals.  You can plan a nutritious and healthy meal by selecting one or more foods from each of these categories:

1. Carbohydrates

  • Fruit
  • Starchy vegetables (sweet or white potatoes)
  • Oatmeal
  • Non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, spinach and other leafy greens)
  • High-fiber, non-sugary cereals
  • Whole-grain bread or crackers
  • Quinoa
  • Brown or wild rice

2. Protein

  • Whole eggs (white and yolk)
  • Milk
  • Greek yoghurt
  • String cheese
  • Poultry
  • Lean red meats
  • Fish
  • Hummus

3. Healthy fat

  • Avocado
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive or canola oil (canola, if you are baking)
  • Peanut butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Flax seed (add to baking or cooking)

4. Hydration

As stated earlier, adequate hydration is essential for every athlete. It is a crucial element in your overall sports performance. To benefit from this, develop a personal hydration plan. The general rule of thumb for hydrating your body during practice is to drink a minimum:

  • Two cups of healthy fluid before training
  • About four to six ounces of healthy fluid every 15 minutes of training

The best fluid for hydration includes low-fat milk, water or 100 per cent juice. Sports beverages like Gatorade are best consumed during competition, where it is necessary for fast hydration and complete electrolyte replacement.

Related Article: Meaning & Types of Gymnastics

Game Day Meal Plan For Athletes

We have a few rules for athletes to abide by when eating on their game day:

  1. Remember to eat up adequate nutrition for the “big game”

This does not mean you should start eating healthily only on the big day. You have to be careful of what you eat during the days, weeks, and even months leading to the big competition.

  1. Never try out a new supplement/dietary plan on your big game day

First, try out every new diet during your practice/training session to ensure that you are not allergic to any content on the diet. As the day for the main competition gets closer, limit your food consumption. Also, you can try to limit your dairy, fat, as well as fibrous carbohydrate consumption to ensure that your diet is balanced.

First Stake Free Bet

Healthy On-the-go Eating For Athletes

Go for energy-loaded foods like tortilla wraps with vegetables, whole grains, crackers that contain low-fat cheese, lean meat, vegetable or bean soups, fresh fruit, and peanut butter. Combine any of these healthy options with fruit or vegetable and milk (or water) and you’ve made a great meal for athletes.

Healthy food choices are far better than unhealthy food choices. Eat healthy to be healthy. Here is a list of some popular unhealthy foodstuffs and what you can substitute them for:

  • Grilled chicken, fish, or turkey > Fried chicken or fish
  • Pork or Lean beef > Burgers, bacon, and even sausage
  • Fruits, salads, vegetables, veggie-based soups > French fries, fried rice, or even cheese sauce
  • Nuts, seeds, or even peanut butter > Chips, pork rinds, cheese curls
  • Eggs or egg substitutes > Omeletes packed with enough cheese, hash browns, as well as sausage
  • Whole grain bread, pasta, and rice > Highly-processed common white bread, pasta and rice
  • Dairy products > Dairy products packed with too much-added sugars, such as ice cream

As the game/competition draws closer, make your meals smaller, reducing fats and even dairy products. This makes it very easy for you to stay on top of your game.

Closing Thoughts

The right meal plan for athletes can help them to perform better during your big game. Eating the right meals means that you must only consume certain nutritious meals to provide you with all the calories your body needs to function. Above, we’ve provided you with the food to eat and the ones to avoid, especially if your competition is around the corner. To plan a diet tailored to your unique needs, work with a dietitian to help you through the process.

ZEbet offers the highest odds with fast deposits, withdrawals and multiple market options for players to enjoy steady wins.

Start enjoying the best live betting experience and win big today! Visit ZEbet.ng.

Register Now