It has been noticed that many athletes ignore right nutrition but give more weightage to exercise and result is: they end up hitting the wall. Nutrition for endurance athletes is one of the most important sides of preparation to hit the mark.
If you are not eating right, you will be able to see clear consequences on and off the field.
Here are 6 golden rules, which every athlete should follow:
- Eat Right: For endurance events like Marathon, avoid junk food, simple sugars and eat carbohydrate rich diet. Carbohydrates are converted into glycogen and stored in your muscles and liver. At very high intensity events like marathon, carbohydrates become the sole energy provider, fueling the powerful contractions of fast twitch muscle fibers. As part of your daily diet you need to include good amount of Carbohydrates (45-65%), Protein (10-35%) and Fat (20-35%) to hit the mark.
- Eat in Right Proportion: The diet of a runner should be optimal both in quality and quantity of food in order to replenish the energy reserves and to avoid fatigue and inadequate nutrition. It is important that you keep track of what and how much you eat to gain the maximum benefits for your run. If your calorie requirement is 3000 KCAL, it doesn’t mean that you should consume most of the calories in 2-3 meals only. Make sure that you are taking 6-7 meals (3 major + 3-4 small) a day by distributing required calories wisely.
- Timing Matters: Along with eating in right proportion it is also important to understand that what time you should eat your meals. Definitely its not a good idea to skip the breakfast and have heavy lunch. All meals (major + small) are equally important. Also, make sure that correct meal is taken per/during/post workout. For example, post workout, it should be recovery meal.
- 5 D’s is the mantra: To achieve your target follow 5D’s, doesn’t matter it's your workout or diet:
Desire: You have to desire to do it, whatever it is.
Discipline: You have to have the discipline to practice as well as to follow diet
Dedication: Dedicate yourself to your task 100%.
Determination: Set small small goals and accomplish them. Don’t give up. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
Devotion: Work smart and give your best efforts. Success will come automatically wherever you go
- Stay Hydrated: Dehydration and overhydration are serious concerns for athletes therefore, it is important to understand when and how much fluid is required before, during and post run. Therefore, keep yourself hydrated by taking all precautionary measures.
- Excess is bad of everything: Whether its diet or exercise, don’t stretch/overeat more than a limit.