Here some tips on eating like an athlete by World Wakeboarding Champion Darin Shapiro. We eat primarily vegetarian in our home but do occasionally eat animal products.
1. Carbohydrates. If your doing intense workouts for more than 90 minutes load up on carbohydrates. Carbs are an athletes main fuel.When you exercise, your body changes glycogen into energy. If you exercise for under 90 minutes, you have enough glycogen in your muscles, even for high-intensity activities. This philosophy is primarily for endurance athletes.
Replenish carbs, minerals, and water during long exercise sessions. Eat a snack and drink fluid every 15 to 20 minutes. Refined carbohydrates (with sugar or flour) pass quickly into the bloodstream, where they fuel working muscles. Many athletes prefer sports bars, sports drinks, or gels, since they’re so convenient. But fruit and fruit juice are also excellent choices.
2. Protein. Getting too much protein can put a strain on your kidneys Instead of protein supplements, eat high-quality protein, such as lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, eggs, or milk. In our house we heavily favor nuts, fish and eggs.
What do you need? The average person needs 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. That’s about 88 grams of protein for a 150-pound person. A strength athlete may need up to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight. That’s about 150 grams of protein for a 200-pound athlete for men.
3. Healthy fats.
Most athletes get all the fat they need eating mostly unsaturated fat from foods such as nuts, avocados, olives, vegetable oils, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. When it comes to these healthy fats, these foods are the best way to go.
4. Replace Lost Electrolytes
Sweating removes both fluids and electrolytes. Electrolytes help transmit nerve signals in your body. To replenish them, reach for sports drinks. If you’re also losing a lot of fluid as you sweat, dilute sports drinks with equal amounts of water to get the best balance of fluid and electrolytes.
5. Nutritional supplements. Athletic supplements do have a role. They “supplement” our hopefully already healthy eating regimen. People should primarily be focused on good fundamentals, like eating a healthy diet and getting enough rest. They’re going to do a lot more for your athletic performance than a supplement but, supplements help us complete the full spectrum of increased nutritional requirements which athletes need for healing and recovery.