Nutrition and Hydration Week is an annual event with a shared objective, to highlight, promote and celebrate improvements in the provision of nutrition and hydration globally.
When playing sport, it’s so important to ensure your body is kept hydrated – seems obvious right? So why are so many of us getting it wrong?
We should all aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet that matches our energy needs, especially when taking part in regular physical activity, such as football.
Eating well for sport can have many health benefits including reducing the risk of injury and illness and as well as, ensuring an easy recovery after exercise.
Children without a varied diet are particularly vulnerable to health problems later in life.
Important foods for Foods for fuel and exercise are carbohydrates, protein and good fats.
The main role of carbohydrates is to provide energy. When they are digested, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose to provide readily available energy for the body to use quickly and effectively. The body can store carbohydrates in the muscles and liver as glycogen, and use these stores as a source of fuel for the brain and muscles during physical activity.
By not having adequate carbohydrate in your diet for exercise, you may feel tired and lacking in energy and not be able to perform at your best.
Good sources of carbohydrates in the diet include, bread, breakfast cereals and porridge oats, pasta, rice and noodles.
Protein is also important for health and physical activity. It helps to growth and repair cells and tissues, such as muscle.
Different foods contain different amounts and different combinations of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). You can find these in animal and plant sources including meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese yoghurt, tofu quinoa and Quorn™.
Fat is a rich source of energy. Consuming too much fat can lead to excess energy intake which can lead to weight gain over time. Choosing foods which contain higher amounts of unsaturated fat, and less saturated fat, is preferable. Avocados and cottage cheese are full of good fats!
Sufficient fluid intake is also essential for exercise and optimum recovery. Exercising causes the body to get warmer, so the body tries to cool down by sweating. This causes the loss of water and salts through the skin.
Try to and stay hydrated before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration – water is generally best, but in cases of excessive sweating, an isotonic drink may be better.
For more information or resources visit: https://nutritionandhydrationweek.co.uk/resources/