Nutrition for Athletes

©1993 NAOC TM NAOC 7-056

Quality and quantity of nutrition and the timing to take in

Healthy life comes from proper nutrition. Epecially growing teen agers need more nutrition than adults.

Athletes need even more. Athletes must think of the quality and the quantity of nutriment and the timing to take in.
Introduced here are the necessary nutriment for sports man to provide energy source, increase muscles, as well as necessary water supply during excercise.

Function of nutriments

Every nutriment in food has its own function. To build a healthy and strong body, you must get every necessary nutriment from various foods.

To recover glycogen

After the training, the energy source, muscle glycogen, decreases. The glycogen becomes even less if the trainig is repeated without supplying carbohydrate. (Fig2). The excercise productivity becomes low with the glycogen decrease. (Fig3).

So after the training, take carbohydrate such as rice, bread, noodle, potatoes. The sufficient amount to take at a time is two bowls of rice for a man, and one plus alpha for a woman.

Without eating carbohydrate, muscle glycogen does not recover after excercise.

Soccer player with little muscle glycogen could move little in the game

Protein supply right after the excercise

To increase muscles, both exercise and nutrition are necessary. The main material of muscle is protein which is contained in meat, fish, egg, soy bean, milk and dairy products. Try to eat these food every day. Quick supply of protein after excercise is effective to increase muscle (Fig4).

Muscle production increases during sleeping. So have a good sleep.

The dog with quick supply of amino acid after exercise got more muscle than the dog supplied two hours later.

Water supply and excercise

The body temperature rises during the excercise (Fig5). The body is covered in sweat to cool down. Without water supply, body keeps losing water and goes into the condition of dehydration. If the body temperature stays high with dehydration, it may go into very dangerous condition such as heat stroke in which consciousness may be lost.
Water supply of 250 to 500ml before excercise and 500 to 1000ml per an hour during excercise is advised.

The body core temperature rose less with sufficient water supply during the two hour excercise.

Eating is an important training

There are no specific food that makes you strong. Various nutriments are necessary. It is a part of the training for an athlete to think of the quality, quantity of nutrition supply as well as the timing to take in. Pay attention to eating habbit and make a strong body.