Active people such as athletes need to eat well because their bodies need a lot of energy and because their bodies lose a lot of water. It is sometimes necessary to get a dietician, especially if you are very active. You should take a lot of water when exercising because the body loses a lot of water through sweat, and to cool the body because exercise causes overheating.
Just as important as knowing what you should eat if you are very active is to know what you should not eat. You should avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat. Examples of such foods are soda, potato chips, doughnuts, candy bars, and cookies. This is because these foods are low in health nutrients and they will fool you that you are full – they do not give you the energy you need. You should avoid processed foods because they lead to fat deposits which take a lot of time to burn. Foods that are rich in cholesterol lead to deposits of the cholesterol in blood vessels and this can lead to a heart attack or a stroke when you overexert your body. Although fiber is good for the body, foods that are high in fiber may cause discomfort and gas for people who are active.
You should take a balanced diet if you are healthy. This includes carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, minerals, and essential fats. There are some great dehydrated foods such as dried apples, apricots, berries, and bananas. These are important in replacing energy during the course of the activity, and providing a high nutrient density. Dried fruits are advantageous over other fruits because drying decreases the volume and increases the calorie, sugar, and nutrient per serving. You can purchase a food dehydrator to do this at home – it removes as much as 80% to 95% of water from fruits and as much as 50% to 75% of water from meats.
Although there are many healthy foods, specific foods that are readily available that athletes should consider eating are apples, spinach, cottage cheese, oats, and sweet potatoes. You should take apples because they are nutrient dense, meaning they are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and valuable water. Advantages of apples over other foods are that they have a long shelf life and they are easy to pack.
You should eat spinach often because they are low in calories, they have dietary fiber, they have antioxidants alpha and beta carotene, they have zeaxanthin and lutein, they have many essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, they have folic acid, and they contain vitamin C, E, and K. Not many vegetables have this many nutrients.
You should eat cottage cheese regularly because it is one of the best protein sources. The body undergoes tear and wear during exercises and proteins are important in healing and building the body. The protein found in cottage cheese is casein – this is the slowest digested protein. This is important because you achieve your goals without getting fat. Cottage cheese also contains the ‘good bacteria’ such as lactobacillus acidophilus which eases digestion and keeps the intestines healthy.