Differences between an Olympian’s diet and the Everyday Runner’s diet
The Olympics are a set of international sports that are held after every 4 years. It is usually filled with fans from all over the world eagerly watching runners participate in very competitive runs. To participate in such elite games, these runners require a lot of energy that provides them with speed and agility.
The source of this energy and great physical shape is from the food they consume which fuels their training to extreme levels. Olympians such as Michael Phelps consumed 12,000 calories daily so as to perform in the 2008 Olympics.
What is an Olympian’s essential plan of eating?
An Olympic runner needs to eat so as to increase the energy that he or she requires to train properly and also participate in the games. Carbohydrates, which make up to 65% of an Olympians diet is the main nutrient that is required for energy build up and persistence. Olympic runners need up to 10 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. Proffessional runners recommend that Olympic runners must have dietecians, that will assist them with taking a balanced diet to provide them with maximum energy. All runners need maximum energy to keep the going and on track.
Secondly, an Olympian runner requires a proper diet so that he or she may restore lost energy due to exercising. Recovery meals need to replace carbohydrates, proteins, fats and Sodium that will restore carbs lost, rebuild worn and fatigued muscles and the potassium lost through sweating as well as replacing calories lost while training. Recovery meals are crucial because athletes need to uphold their body mass and strength because the loss of weight will result in harming the runner’s athletic abilities.
Calorie intake required daily
One cannot approximate the exact calories required for any one runner since each of them differ in size, gender, the distance they can run and the intensity with which they can train. According to dietitians, athletes can take from a minimum of 3000 calories to a maximum of 8000 calories depending on with their specific needs. It is recommended that runners maintain a high-calorie intake while keeping it healthy e.g. olive oil, fatty fish like salmon, nuts, nut butter, granola, cheese, dried fruit and whole grains. High nutrient calories are also required and very important because they help in maintaining a great immune system that reduces chances of getting sick.
It may be hard for athletes to continuously count what they are eating so dietitians have implemented a system that will assist them to choose what to eat without worrying about calories. They created a plate system that is based on a simple, medium and extreme training day. The plates simply a serving of carbs, proteins and veggies. The harder you exercise, the more grains are supposed to be on the plate.
Differences between an Olympians’ and recreational runners’ diet is that the latter run to maintain a good weight and a healthy body while the former are required to continuously consume the recommended calories to maintain a stable weight with the great physical shape . A recreational runner does not need more than 2,000 calories daily. Besides consuming a lot of calories to restore their energy, athletes are not so different from recreational runners.
They usually attempt to avoid new foods whole competing and instead take foods that pump them up like oatmeal or a jelly sandwich. After discovering which foods work for them, athletes maintain the same diet for great results.
Mistakes every athlete should avoid
Desirable nutrition that will enable athletes to have an optimal performance requires a balanced diet with proper hydration. The after come of drinking less water is poor performance while drinking a lot of water is not will it will lead to water intoxication. Too much water dilutes the sodium and electrolytes in the blood. It causes body distress especially the stomach and too much urinating. Experts recommend a maximum of 750 millimetres of water per hour to meet the body needs. This maintains a balance of water and other nutrients.
Wrong calorie intake
Athletes cannot restore calories at the same rate as they expanded them. Those who attempt to do so may experience poor digestion with disappointing outcomes. Champions recommend one to start with a little amount and with time tune with the intake needed.
Not taking protein
Prolonged exercises tend to make the body start using up the protein from the body. Thus proteins are necessary for fuelling up, if not, the body will start using up your own muscles. The body will do this in a process called muscle cannibalization. However, this process has negative effects such as reduced performance with more fatigue and a weak immune system. So it is advised to take carbohydrates and small amounts of proteins to help in fuelling you. Proteins such as soy are rich in protein and very nutritional.
Inadequate recovery nutrition
For a great performance, an athlete requires good exercise that will stimulate muscles and circulation of blood. Also,athletes require a period of recovery for the body to rebuild a little bit more than it was before. Hence it is crucial to consume a nutritious meal and a good rest. Failing to do so will make your efforts of exercising futile. It is important to take care of yourself after working out by replenishing your supply of carbohydrates and protein. It is ideal to take carbohydrates after a maximum of 60 seconds after an exercise
Simple sugars such as fructose, glucose and sucrose are poor at fuelling the body due to small concentrations of carbohydrates. For better health, Athletes should refrain from taking these sugars. However, complex carbohydrates are the best for athletic endurance. They enable the body to digest a bigger amount of calories faster hence giving out energy. It is advised to rely on complex sugars to provide carbohydrates without requiring any simple sugars.