Not enough can be said about the role that proper nutrition plays in the ability to perform optimally in any physical activity. Good nutrition is a fundamental and sound foundation for success both on and off the field for everyone, not just athletes. Food is the body's fuel that allows spectacular performances that you may see in sports ranging from tennis, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, football, hockey and just about any other activity that you may think of.
It is recommended that most individuals who are active consume a diet that is rich in proteins and complex carbohydrates. The foods in these groups should also be supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables that will give you the necessary vitamins and minerals the body requires. Additionally many find it necessary to supplement their diets with products such as creatine or whey proteins. While it is necessary to consume foods that contain carbohydrates to give you the energy that you need, it is also very important to remember to consume the proper amounts of protein. Proteins are the basic building blocks of muscle and without them you cannot expect to become stronger or increase your muscle mass. If your lifestyle is exceptionally active it is recommended that you daily protein intake be within 2 to 2.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. Protein helps to build strength and muscle mass that can be lost when participating in highly physical activities. Lean meats such as chicken breasts, steak and fish are excellent sources of protein.
Carbohydrates play an important part in your diet as they are the fuel source they give you the energy that you need. Carbohydrates consist of simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are absorbed quickly by the body and will give you a quick spike of energy that will last for a short period of time. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand are absorbed by the body at a constant rate over a longer period of time. This is beneficial for supplying your body with a steady flow of energy that may be needed, especially if you are participating in activities that will take place over a longer period of time. It is recommended that you avoid the simple carbohydrates and try, as much as possible, to consume complex carbs in the form of whole wheat bread, brown rice, oats and whole wheat pastas.
Another myth in the world of nutrition is to avoid all fats. This is a misconception that is not necessarily true because fat is also an important nutrient that is needed by the body. There are good fats and there are bad fats, and knowing the difference between the two and which ones you should be consuming is very important. Foods that contain healthy saturated fats are recommended as they provide your body with necessary omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help to keep blood cholesterol levels steady. Foods and products that contain sugars and monosaturated fats as well as hydrogenated vegetable oils should be avoided as much as possible.
By doing some simple research into the benefits that are derived from the many different foods available, you can tailor make your very own nutritional plan that will provide you with the necessary nutrients that your body needs. This will benefit you not just athletically but will also help to improve your overall health. By participating in and maintaining a sound nutritional foundation you will find that your overall athletic performance will be improved. You will feel more fit and be able to perform at an optimal level for many years just by ensuring that you have sound dietary and nutritional habits.