Nutrition and Fitness articles

July 20, 2015
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Whether it's playing football, , jogging, kick-boxing or, active people (people who have rigorous routines or play sports) or athletes need to eat a nutritious, balanced diet to fuel their body. Good, like any sporting event, has basic ground rules. Following these rules and getting plenty of practice will help active people and athletes feel great!

What diet is best for active people?

All active people need a diet that provides enough energy in the form of carbohydrates and fats as well as essential protein, vitamins and minerals. This means a diet containing 55-60 percent of calories from carbohydrates (10 to 15 percent from sugars and the rest from starches), no more than 30 percent of calories from fat and the remaining (about 10-15 percent) from protein. That translates into eating a variety of foods every day - grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, lean meats, and low fat dairy products. The base of the diet should come from carbohydrates in the form of starches and sugars. Fluids, especially water, are also important to the winning combination. can stop even the most fit individual from playing his or her best game.

Are carbohydrates important for active people?

When starches or sugars are eaten, the body changes them all to, the only form of carbohydrate used directly by muscles for energy. Whether carbohydrates are in the form of starches (in vegetables and grains), sucrose (table sugar), fructose (found in fruits and juices) or lactose (milk sugar), carbohydrates are digested and ultimately changed to glucose.

The body uses this glucose in the blood for energy. Most glucose is stored as glycogen in the and muscles. During exercise glycogen is broken down in the muscles and provides energy. Usually there is enough glycogen in muscles to provide fuel for 90-120 minutes of exercise. Most exercise and sport games do not use up glycogen stores so eating carbohydrates during the activity usually isn't needed. But for some active people, eating or drinking carbohydrates during exercise helps maintain their blood glucose and energy levels.

Most active people need not be concerned with "carbohydrate loading, " the special technique of eating a lot of carbohydrates for several days before an endurance event. Instead, focus on getting enough carbohydrates everyday. The best way to ensure plenty of energy for exercise is to eat a nutritious, balanced diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat with lots of different foods.

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