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Nutrition Guidelines for Athletes – the Do’s and Don’ts of Nutrition

Jul 12, 2012 //

If you are an athlete, you will be well aware of the importance of following a proper diet! Every athlete needs to fulfill his/her nutrient requirement in order to maximize their performance and ensure proper body functioning. Since being an athlete involves a lot of physical movement, the nutrient requirement are more as compared to a normal person. Therefore, there is a proper nutrition guideline for athletes. However, remember that an athlete must follow a proper diet plan that only has nutrients that are actually needed! Fitness Republic gives a complete nutrition guideline for athletes, which would help you perform better.

What Athletes need to Consume


Protein is considered to be an essential nutrient for athletes. Protein plays a key role in the body; it is responsible for the building and repairing of tissues. Proteins also regulate the metabolism and provide a source of fuel for exercising muscle. Scientists suggest that athletes who undergo endurance and resistance training have an increased need for proteins. There is still an ongoing debate regarding the exact amount of protein an athlete should consume, most athletes already follow a diet which provides them with ample amount of proteins. Proteins are very important for the recovery phase and aid in muscle growth and repair. In order to fulfill your protein requirements you can eat the following foods.


Carbohydrates are a key addition to an athlete’s nutrition. It is well-known that carbs are an athlete essential nutrient because it provides the body with energy! For athletes, it provides a short-lived supply of energy that enables them to exercise and train efficiently. Athletes are not encouraged to eat carbohydrate rich foods; they should only eat a moderate amount of carbohydrates that may fulfill their training needs. Foods that can be included in Nutrition diet for athlete includes.


Antioxidants play a very important role in the body and are an essential element of nutrition for athletes. Antioxidants relieve the body from oxidative stress and fights free radicals which protects our body from diseases.


Iron is needed for all athletes! The deficiency of iron can hamper performance amongst athletes! All athletes, regardless of the type of competition, need to fulfill their daily Iron requirement in order to boost their performance during competitions.


Calcium plays an essential role in the body. It strengthens the bones and teeth. It also increases the bone density. An athlete should always include food rich in calcium in his/her diet as all athletes require strong bones. Generally, dairy products are a rich source of Calcium. Calcium is an essential nutrient for all athletes regardless of the type of competition they are taking part in.

Foods Athletes avoid need to Avoid

Soft Drinks

All types of soft drinks/fizzy drinks should be avoided. Soft drinks contain an abundance of artificial sugar and calories which can result in weight gain. It is essential for every athlete to stay physically fit for better performance.

Fatty Foods

Every athlete should abstain from eating fatty foods. This is because it takes a long time for these foods to be broken down and digested. Consuming foods rich in fats can hamper performance during high endurance exercise and sports.


Some athletes believe that consuming coffee or tea increases their ability to perform well. This may be true to an extent, but caffeine also causes dehydration which can pose a serious problem for athletes.

Alice Toyonaga

Alice Toyonaga, also known as ChatterRunGirl, is a fitness and nutrition enthusiast and avid goal-setter. She has spent the last 9 years of her life redefining her definitions of physical and mental health, genuine happiness, and appreciation and gratitude for a fit and strong body. Alice’s goal is to integrate yoga and running and work with all levels of athletes to improve their performance and keep them healthy in their bodies.

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