Basic Sports Nutrition

You've skated over the ice hundreds of times both in training and during games and in this time burned countless amounts of calories, but if you don't give your body the fuel it needs you will not be able to reach your full potential as an athlete. You need to eat a balanced and nutritious diet which includes all the food groups.

There are guidelines to follow in order to get the right nutrition and eating a varied diet is essential. Your diet needs to contain all of the food groups, but foods made up of carbohydrates, protein, and fat are even more important for athletes. Athletes should eat a diet high in carbs, moderate in protein, and low in fat. And don't forget that a key nutrient for all athletes is water, proper hydration is a must for athletes as perspiration and exertion deplete the body of fluids so you must rehydrate. 8 glasses of water are required per day as well as half a cup of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise.

Why are carbohydrates important?
 Carbs in the form of sugars and starch are vital to a training athlete as it is turned into glucose which fuels the body and mind and all athletes know this is critical for optimum sports performance. If stores are broken down this can lead to fatigue and difficulties to maintain training.

Why is protein important? Protein is needed for muscle growth and repair. Good sources of protein include lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs and low fat dairy products which contain all of the essential amino acids.

Why is fat important? Some fats are essential, but exercise does not completely reduce health risks associated with eating a high-fat diet. Athletes should consume less than 30% of total calories from fat and less than 10% from saturated fat.

If you have any questions about sports nutrition or would like to contact a nutritionist about this please visit to find a nutritionist in your area.