Importance Of Nutrition In College Athletes

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Nutrition is very important when it comes to maintaining health and maximizing physical activity and athletic performance. College athletes spend various hours a day training for their sport. Although it takes skills and training to be a good athlete, it also takes a quality nutrition to perform to the best of their ability. Often times, these athletes lack the nutritional guidance and knowledge to make healthy food choices. They are often unaware of the roles that proteins, vitamins, and minerals play in the body and how much of each nutrient is required.
Nutritional needs for athletes are often higher than the average physically active or sedentary person. Athletes nutrition varies based on the type of sport they are playing, the amount
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According to the American College of Sport Medicine, during moderate to high intensity exercise lasting more than an hour, it is beneficial to maintain blood glucose levels by consuming 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. The form of carbohydrates can vary from sports drinks, gels, or nutritious snacks.
After exercise, adequate amounts of carbohydrates must be consumed in order to replenish muscle glycogen stores and refuel. Carbohydrates should be ingested at least 30 minutes after training or competing every two hours for 4-6 hours to replace glycogen levels and ensure recovery as quickly as possible.
Protein intake is also very important for athletes. Protein requirements is dependent upon energy intake and the type, duration and intensity of exercise. The recommended intake is higher for athletes than sedentary individuals. The daily recommended intake for athletes is 10-35% of total calories and ranges from 1.2-2.0 grams per kilograms of body weight whereas the requirement is only 0.8grams for the sedentary. If an athlete consumes a high quality diet, the recommended protein intake is usually met and does not require supplementation (Cotugna; 2005). Proteins is important in strength or resistance exercise or when an athlete is attempting to increase body mass. Proteins are also important for pre-competition meals but should only consist
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Hydration is important for performance and to ensure proper hydration, athletes should consume enough fluids before, during, and after exercise. Athletes require additional fluid to cover the amount that they lose because of sweating. Inadequate water intake can lead to dehydration and can impair performance and create life-threatening risk such as heat injuries. Athletes should drink water or a sports drink at least four hours before exercise to allow hydration. In order to insure proper hydration, the athlete should make sure urine is being produced and check its color. When exercising, 6-12 ounces of fluids should be consumed every 15-20 minutes. Sodium can also be added to drinks to enhance water absorption and prevent hyponatremia. Approximately 16-24 ounces of fluid should be consumed during recovery to proper maintain hydration and replace both water and salt lost in

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