Athletes Need More Than Just Protein

1041407_bicycle__1Sometimes you hear the words diet and athlete and you think to yourself protein or maybe protein shakes. Why is that? Is it because protein has become increasingly popular during these last years? Whatever the reason, it is imperative for athletes to understand that to be healthy they need more then just protein. So what do they need exactly?

First and foremost, athletes’ muscles rely on carbohydrates and fats to give them energy during exercise. Both should be a major part of the daily intake in an athletes diet. And, it is recommended that athletes should consume these foods approximately 2 to 4 hours before they begin exercise. Second, an athlete is obviously going to need fluids, mainly water. However, if the exercise persists for longer than 2 hours in a hot environment, a fitness drink with electrolytes is a great way to rehydrate. Lastly, vitamins and minerals, iron, and calcium are all things to keep in mind to stay healthy. If you are eating a varied diet you are most likely getting enough vitamins and minerals, otherwise you may want to supplement. When it comes to iron, a supplement is only necessary if you are truly anemic. And with calcium, it is always a good idea to make sure you consume enough so you have strong bones. When you do all of the above you will not only be healthy, but well prepared for exercise.

Sports Nutrition

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