Sports nutrition: practical advice

1. Breakfast is very important and should provide at least 20% of the total daily amount of calories. It should be composed mainly of carbohydrates, to restore the supplies of glycogen lost during the night. An additional amount of calories should be added on the days when you train or take part to a competition.

2. It is advisable to eat a snack of simple sugars (or pre-games snacks and drinks if you like), containing about 1 g glycogen for every kg of body weight one hour before training or before a competition. During prolonged competitions eat a snack every 60-120 minutes.

3. It is important to maintain the water balance in our body. Sports activity, especially performed in conditions of high or low temperatures or at high altitude, needs large amounts of water, up to 3 liters per hour. You need to replace the water you lose, if you don't it will badly affect your performance or worse, cause hypovolemic shock. Rehydration is thus fundamental in every sports practice, especially in conditions of low temperature and high altitude, when the feeling of thirst is less perceived.

Samples

Sedentary 16 year old male weighing 70 kg. Daily calorie intake: 2600 Kcal

Breakfast (should represent 20% of daily calorie intake):
Milk with coffee 150 g (half mug)
Rusks or bread or cereals 60 g, jam 20 g
1 apple (or other fruit) 200 g or yoghurt 125 g

Lunch:
Pasta or rice with tomato sauce or vegetables sauce 100 g
Low-fat meat 100 g (or fish 150 g)
Fresh raw vegetables

Dinner:
Pasta or rice with meat and tomato sauce or fish sauce 80 g
Meat 70 g or fish 100 g, or cheese 60 g or 1 egg
Vegetables, also cooked (if potatoes calculate 25 g of pasta less every 100 g of potatoes)
1 dessert

16 year old male weighing 70 kg. Competitive sport: Alpine skiing. Competitive season with training (or competition) in the morning. Daily calorie intake: 2600 Kcal

Breakfast (should represent 20% of daily calorie intake, almost 2 hours before training or competition):
Milk with coffee 250 g (half mug)
Rusks or bread or cereals 80 g, jam 20 g
1 apple (or other fruit) 200 g
or yoghurt 125 g and 1 egg

1 hour before training or competition (or between stages): glucose or fructose energy bar or one bar of milk chocolate

Lunch:
Pasta or rice with tomato sauce or vegetables sauce 150 g
Low-fat meat 150 g (or fish 200 g)
Fresh raw vegetables
Bread 120 g

Snack: fresh fruits

Dinner:
Pasta or rice with meat and tomato sauce or fish sauce 100 g, or pasta (or rice) with legumes 200 g
Meat 100 g or fish 150 g, or cheese 100 g or 2 eggs
Vegetables, also cooked (if potatoes calculate 25 g of pasta less every 100 g of potatoes)
Bread 60 g
1 dessert

Drink at midmorning, after training and before going to bed: water, teas, fruit juices and, if needed, salt supplements.

Hotel