High performance athletes should stay properly fed and hydrated at all times. For this, it is essential to take into account the training schedule to be able to eat a couple of hours before and after.
Are you an athlete? Are you looking for a diet that helps you improve your physical performance, while allowing you to stay healthy? In this article we will explain what the best diet is for high performance sportswomen.
The Sports Medicine Center of the Ministry of Education, Social Policy and Sports of Spain, in its guide “Food, nutrition and hydration in sport”, ensures that it does not matter that the person is well trained if they do not follow an adequate diet.
The manual explains that high performance athletes must comply with a correct, balanced and balanced diet, before, during and at the end of a competition. This will be essential when improving your performance.
Your body needs energy
To perform optimally in your sport, you need your food consumption to be able to cover the caloric expenditure. Similarly, it should help you maintain the correct body weight. For this reason you should follow a balanced diet that contains a wide variety of foods.
These will provide you with the nutrients, proteins, minerals and enough energy to properly fulfill your physical activities. Likewise, the regimen must also adapt to the caloric needs of each person.
In that sense, we must take into account the set of nutritional requirements of each athlete. They should be adapted to their age, sex, body composition, and duration of training, intensity and type of exercise, temperature of the environment, among others.
What is the best diet for women athletes?
A study by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, recruited seven high-performing sportswomen. Its objective was to check how a moderate fat diet affected the physical recovery of these participants. The variables were the following:
- A moderate diet, where 35% of the energy came from fats.
- A diet high in carbohydrates, where only 10% of the energy was obtained from fats.
The results showed that, after the end of physical activity, the intramuscular triglyceride reserves (TGIM) returned to normal with a moderate fat diet, after 22 hours.
On the other hand, the TGIM reserves in women with the high carbohydrate regimen did not stabilize again. Not even after 70 hours of having finished physical activity. This showed that the diet for high-performance women athletes should be rich in fat.
Fear of increasing body mass
Many women do not usually opt for this proven diet. This is because they may feel fear that by replenishing their intramuscular triglyceride deposits they may be exceeded in calories, thereby increasing their percentage of body fat.
It should be noted that these reserves will be spent depending on the duration and intensity of the training to which the athlete is exposed. If the exercise exceeds a period of two hours, intramuscular lipids can be consumed 70%.
In this sense, an investigation of the clinical department of the University of Bern, in Switzerland, suggests that athletes should consume between 35 and 40% of total calories in fat mode.
Specifically those that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, because they facilitate the increase of fat-free tissue (LBM). Now, if you are an athlete, you have to be aware that your fat consumption should never be below 15 percent.
What to eat?
It is essential to eat healthy, follow it and hydrate properly to maintain or increase your physical performance. For that reason, it is recommended that a diet for high-performance sportswomen include the following distribution in each food group:
They constitute the main fuel for the muscle during all physical training. That is why it is important that athletes consume a high diet in this macronutrient, which provides between 60 and 65% of the total daily energy of an athlete.
We recommend consuming complex carbohydrates or slow absorption, such as flour, rice, pasta, corn, bread, oatmeal. In the case of legumes, opt for lentils, beans and chickpeas.
They are an essential source of energy, which must contribute between 20 and 30% of the calories in an athlete’s diet. If you increase this percentage you could be reducing the intake of other necessary foods. A lower proportion could lead to a deficit of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and essential fatty acids.
It is recommended that athletes consume approximately between 12 and 15%. It can be covered with the balanced intake of eggs, meat, fish and dairy products.
It is recommended that the diet for women athletes be varied, balanced and rich in foods of vegetable origin. These are the ones that provide more vitamins and minerals, which are essential for our body, because our body cannot produce them on its own.
Likewise, it is necessary to make between four and five meals during the day, in order to distribute in the best way the energy contribution that you require as an athlete. For this, you must take into account the schedule of your physical training, as it is convenient to consume some food a couple of hours before the start of the same , as well as at the end of the effort.
You can divide the daily energy ratio in the following way:
- Breakfast: 15-25%
- Food: 25-35%
- Snack: 10-15%
- Dinner: 25-35%
In any case, if you have any kind of doubt, seek the advice of a professional. He will be responsible for developing a plan designed according to the characteristics of your body.