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Diet for active

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Diet for active

Diet for active guidelines:

   Physical activity is inherent part of life of many people. Rules of nutrition during intensified physical activity depend on the type of the activity. Some persons sports for health and lean figure, others competitively and their aim is to get the highest possible shape. It is proven, that moderate physical activity reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease, thanks to increase of “good” HDL cholesterol and decrease of “bad” LDL.

Exercise and nutrition

   We distinguish 3 basic types of exertion:

- high-speed, e.g. runs for short distances,
- long-lasting, e.g. skiing
- tourism and sports games, which are characterized by an increased burden on the nervous system.

   General rules of nutrition are similar to the diet of persons with average physical activity. There are higher requirements regarding the amount of energy and some nutrients especially in persons who play sport professionally. Exertion growth is related with the increase of requirements for nutrients because of higher excretion of water, electrolytes, minerals and necessity of biological regeneration.

Energy required

   During high physical exertion requirement on energy increases rapidly. Long walks or bicycle may lead to increased energy demand even up to 5000 kcal. It is obligatory to cover looses of energy by eating foods with high content of carbohydrates. During extreme physical exertion, such like professional sports like cross-country skiing, to compensation of energetic balance occurs after few or even a dozen days! Gender, body weight and temperature of environment also affects on energy demands. It is assumed that the high and low ambient temperature increases the energy demand by about 20%.

Carbohydrates - provide 55-60% of energy. They are completely metabolized and easy to digest. Their consumption affects the amount of glycogen accumulates in the body. This compound reserve during exercise breaks down into glucose. The rate and amount of glucose produced in turn affects the body's ability to undertake the effort. This is of great importance in disciplines that require strength, such as gymnastics. Carbohydrates should be provided either in the form of complex carbohydrates and simple - the best use of processed fruit.

Fats - should provide approx. 20-25% of energy. The maximum value, which unfortunately is too often exceeded is 30%. Energy from this source is not as readily available as energy from carbohydrates. Fatty foods slow down intestinal motility. This can cause retention of food in the stomach, which is unfavorable during training, trips and competitions. Fat should be consumed mainly of vegetable origin rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, that is oils and soft margarines instead of lard and butter. A sufficient amount of animal fat is provided for the dairy and meat products. An important position in the athlete's diet should be fish that not only provides  valuable protein, but also fatty acids with omega-3 family, whose share in the total pool of energy should be about 2%.

Protein - the need for it in people with moderate physical activity is at average level of 0.8 g / kg  of body weight. During training or walks it can grow up to 1.5 g / kg body weight, and in some sports, even up to 2.5 g / kg body weight. It is assumed that the protein should provide about 15% of food intake. A large amount of protein in the diet is essential to increase muscle mass, and in disciplines that require high strength, long-term effort leads to a significant increase in consumption of tissue proteins. Young athletes, whose body is still developing, they need protein also to grow well. It is recommended that the ratio of animal and vegetable proteins was 1: 2 The source of this species should be lean meats and sausages, eggs, dairy products. It is advisable to limit fatty meats, sausages, and canned meats. Vegetable protein should be derived mainly from cereal products.


   They participate in the process of obtaining energy from food, so their intake in the diet of athletes should be considerably increased. Particularly important are the B vitamins necessary for proper metabolism of carbohydrates. They also play an important role in the disciplines of skill, because they affect the functioning of the nervous system. Demand for antioxidant vitamins (beta-carotene, vitamins C and E) that protect the body against free radicals is also increasing. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen and increases iron absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.

   Source of vitamin C and beta-carotene in the diet should be vegetables and fruits, and vitamin E - sunflower oil and fish. However, if the diet is not able to cover the full need, it is necessary to supplement vitamin and mineral preparations.

Drink a lot !

   Physical exercise is associated with a large loss of water and minerals in sweat. With intense exertion  player can lose several liters of water per day. It is necessary to supplement these losses within 24 hours. Therefore it is recommended to drink 3-4 liters a day, including 2 cups of the beverage for each meal, the best are fruit and vegetable juices and non-carbonated mineral water. Between meals, it is also necessary to complete the water looses, depending on the effort. Drinks should be drunk slowly in small sips. Beverages with high sugar, and alcohol content, which cause the intensification of excretion of urine and reduce motor coordination are not advised.

Remember that:

- Athletes diet should be easy to digest,
- Frying and baking should be reduced in favor of cooking and baking in foil and grilled dishes,
- You need to avoid foods known as "fast food", so hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. which are usually hard to digest and have a high fat content.

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