Who practices a sport often has nutritional needs different from those who have a sedentary lifestyle. A nutrition that is qualitatively and quantitatively correct, adequately distributed throughout the day, can improve performance, resistance and adaptation to training .

If those who play sports can achieve better results with a targeted diet, those who have to lose weight or otherwise resolve nutritional problems can make the effort dedicated to dieting profitable by practicing appropriate physical activity: weight loss will be easier and last longer.

Sports people are those who follow a regular, frequent and continuous training program. The sportsman aims to improve the performance in the race, the physical condition and the athletic preparation, therefore he is subjected to constant and heavy psychophysical stresses: work , study and all daily activities, if added to training , competitions or matches are source of great stress and intoxication of the metabolism, which can become heavy.

Modern food is made mostly of industrial foods consumed quickly.
Poor variety of foods, reduced consumption of fruit and vegetables, abundantly sweetened drinks, simple sugars, alcohol and additives: an explosive mixture which only increases the toxic load already present due to stress.

The s tress and poor nutrition involve per-oxidation of cell structures and accumulation of free radicals in the body.

The feeling of muscular fatigue frequently felt by the sportsman is in fact due to the accumulation of lactic acid produced by the intense oxidative activity at the muscular level.

The importance of proper nutrition
Sports performance remains below the profuse commitment and its real possibilities due to the lack of attention to food. It is difficult to avoid inconveniences and traumas - one of them all: cramps - with incorrect power management!

Hydration is also important!
We lose body water every day: through sweating, urine, breathing. If we do not compensate with an adequate water supply, we risk progressive dehydration. And the sportsman, due to often intense sweating, is even more exposed to this risk.
Hydrating properly means replenishing the loss of mineral salts and water and eliminating accumulated toxins.

But when can you say you're dehydrated?

First of all, when you notice a drop in performance during a long workout. The shortage of water is poorly tolerated by the body: a loss of water equal to 1% of body weight can lead to a decrease in athletic performance by about 5%, while a 5% loss means a reduction of 30 % of the benefit, with the risk of cramps .
The sportsman who maintains a good state of pre-exercise hydration and who remains hydrated during training or the race is less subjected to dehydration and to muscular traumatic events , while he is able to restore optimal physical conditions in a short time.

Water or drink-supplements?
If you come to a training or competition with a truly personalized diet, you don't need to use supplements.
It is water, addition of lemon or orange juice, the most effective and the best supplement.
Only after an intense and long sporting activity is it necessary to re-establish the energy reserves by taking, besides the meal, a sugary drink. In this case, a fruit juice is ideal.
Warning! It is best to avoid any sugary drinks before or during training.

What food for the sportsman?
A balanced and balanced diet
It is important to guarantee the regular supply of all the macro and micro nutrients: only the variety of foods guarantees the supply of nutrients and avoids the excessive intake of toxins.
We need to get the right amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Any diet that excludes a group of nutrients or adds too much is to be avoided!

A well distributed diet between meals
To feel good, it is important to take energy rationally, day by day. So: at least 20% for breakfast, 40% for lunch and 30% for dinner. There is still 10% left to eat during the day in the form of snacks, especially before and after training. A hearty breakfast is the first step to finding a good balance.

A quantitatively adequate diet
Each, depending on his body structure (on which the basal metabolism depends), the type of work performed, the extent of the stress to which he is subjected and the sporting activity, has different caloric intake needs. Not always the presence of a sporting activity justifies the caloric contributions to which we are now accustomed.
To assess what the real needs are and to improve performance, it is advisable to contact the nutritionist.

Food quality
A diet with a low glycemic index, which teaches a correct management of carbohydrates, is the one that allows a constant and sufficient nutrition of the muscle engine. This prevents rapid blood sugar spikes and equally rapid and dangerous drops.
Have you ever tried taking food or soft drinks before the competition or training?
One feels immediately at maximum. But, once the initial effect is over, the energy abandons us.

Intense sporting activity and - a fortiori - long-lasting, requires an adequate supply of carbohydrates.
The ideal is a constant presence of sugars in the bloodstream. This is often served with snacks. However, the choice of their quality is important.

A detoxifying diet
To begin with, cereals and refined sugars, fizzy drinks, snacks, canned foods, precooked foods and fast-food should be reduced above all.
If you change the diet at least in this - and a valid help comes from the use of more fruits and vegetables - you immediately notice that you are much better and that the sporting performance definitely improves.

An alkalizing diet
With the regular intake of adequate quantities of fruit and vegetables - which provide different minerals (buffer solutions) - it helps to buffer the accumulation of acids at the tissue level.
In the context of fruit and vegetables, green vegetables and all seasonal fruits should be preferred, fresh and at the right point of ripeness.
And let's not underestimate the importance of raw vegetables!

Author's Bio: 

Shivani Sikri (Chief Nutritionist & Co-Founder, NUTRI4VERVE)

Offers intelligent diet plans for weight loss through Lifestyle Management (work routines, time constraints, eating habits, meal preferences, travel Schedules, genetics & therapeutic / family medical history) made afresh and fulfilling specific demands of clients. She offers Indian Versions of Keto Diets, Paleo diets, and other fat targeting diets so that the fat loss is everlasting and easily attainable by eating only your home cooked food.

Nutri4Verve recommends a 12-week dietary plan for Weight Loss diets, therapeutic diets with emphasis on Diabetes, Thyroid, PCOD/ PCOS, Post Pregnancy and Lipid Imbalances and others.

She has been Awarded – Best Dietician in Delhi at International Healthcare Summit & Awards and was winner of India’s biggest Healthcare Awards popularly known as Healthcare Oscars of India – “Superstar : Excellence in Diet & Nutrition” at Indian Health Professional Awards.