|Updated: 4/11/2007 4:47 pm
||Published: 4/11/2007 4:47 pm
If you're an athlete, food is fuel that you need to consume in higher amounts than non-athletes. Very physically active people may wonder how to best meet their nutrition needs. A balanced diet that provides adequate amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates will fuel performance and aid in recovery. Carbohydrates are especially important for endurance. The form of carbohydrates that the body stores, glycogen (GLIGH-kuh-jun), is used for energy. Complex carbohydrates that can be found in potatoes, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains are the best sources. Having protein with each meal, preferably from fish, chicken, lean cuts of meat or beans and legumes, will aid in muscle repair. Also, have a good source of oil, such as olive, once a day. It's also important to keep your body well hydrated. As a guideline, an athlete should consume between four and eight ounces of water every 15 minutes during exercise. Plain water is adequate if you're exercising less than one hour. You should add a carbohydrate-electrolyte replacement drink if you're exercising more than one hour.