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Top 5 Types Of Meat For Athletes: Sport-Specific Nutritional Rules

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Top 5 Types Of Meat For Athletes: Sport-Specific Nutritional Rules

There are general principles that determine the direction of nutrition of athletes, however, certain sports require a different approach to the nutritional preferences, which we will discuss in this article.

Endurance Sports

Sports that develop endurance are characterized by a long aerobic load, and depending on the duration and level of the load, either glycogen or fat is consumed for energy. Low exercise intensity implies the consumption of fat reserves, while a high degree of intensity depletes glycogen reserves.

In addition, 1 g of glycogen is able to bind 2.7 g of water and 19.5 mg of potassium, so when it breaks down, these substances will again enter the body and will be subsequently used by it. You can even develop the ability to start fat burning in advance in order to preserve glycogen, which is what experienced athletes do in order to gain strength for the finishing spurt or to give a second wind in the intermediate stage of the competition.

The ideal ratio of macronutrients for athletes involved in endurance sports:

Macronutrients ratio:

Carbohydrates – 60%

Protein – 12 – 16%

Fats – 24 – 28%

Under extreme loads, you can increase the number of carbohydrates consumed by up to 80%.

Power Sports

Sports that require maximum strength (weightlifting, bodybuilding, etc.) fall into this category. The energy here comes from the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a prerequisite for which is a large amount of muscle mass and the intake of a sufficient amount of protein (1.2-1.7 g per 1 kg of body weight).

Providing the body with protein involves consuming a large amount of fluid, which will support the optimal synthesis of muscle protein. Since animal protein sources are rich in fat and cholesterol, it is recommended to give preference to low-fat protein foods. Protein intake should be divided into 5-7 parts, since only 30-40 g of protein is absorbed in one meal, and its excess in undigested form passes into the intestine, where it is converted into various gases, which provokes the development of flatulence and diarrhea. It is good to consume protein food immediately after strength training when muscle building is still actively ongoing.

The intake of a sufficient amount of carbohydrates is also important for power sports, as glycogen produced as a result of carbohydrate intake will stimulate the production of ATP – the main source of energy in these sports.

As for fats, it is preferable to use only vegetable fats in your diet to provide your body with essential fatty acids.

The ideal ratio of macronutrients for athletes involved in power sports:

Macronutrients ratio:

Carbohydrates – 45-55%

Protein – 20-25%

Fats – 20-25%

Martial Arts

Martial arts make a number of demands on athletes: strength, endurance, speed, athletic shape and coordination of movements. Eating enough protein will increase muscle mass and strength, and improve your ability to concentrate. Wrestlers mostly resort to anaerobic ways to get energy; during tournaments, of course, aerobic methods are also used. Most energy production comes from glycolysis.

Normal diet:

  • Carbohydrates – 50%
  • Protein – 20%
  • Fats – 30%.

High-calorie diet:

  • Carbohydrates – 50%
  • Protein – 25%
  • Fats – 25%.

Limited Diet:

  • Carbohydrates – 33%
  • Protein – 33%
  • Fats – 33%.

Team / Playing Sports

Playing sports is characterized by irregular maximum loads (for example, a jerk in soccer). The endurance of the athlete is of paramount importance, which leads to the intake of a large number of carbohydrates. As in bodybuilding, athletes in team sports include sports nutrition in the diet. In general, the requirements for athletes in playing sports are similar to the requirements for athletes engaged in endurance sports.

The ideal ratio of macronutrients for athletes involved in playing sports:

Macronutrients ratio:

Carbohydrates – 55%

Protein – 15-18%

Fats – 27-33%

The recommended ratio should be considered differentially. If the prevailing need is to manifest speed, quick power or endurance, you should consume carbohydrates, which act as glycogen storage. If an athlete is expected to use force, then you should use a large amount of protein in your diet.

Team sports are characterized by pauses during exercise, which allows athletes to replenish the level of energy and fluid. Particularly suitable for such purposes are easily digestible small portions of carbohydrates (e.g. banana) and sports drinks based on carbohydrates and minerals.

Speed-Power Sports

In such sports, the maximum possible amount of energy is used for short periods of time. Energy is spent to obtain incredible strength, endurance, and coordination of movements.

The ideal ratio of macronutrients for athletes engaged in speed-power sports:

Macronutrients ratio:

Carbohydrates – 50-55%

Protein – 18-20%

Fats – 20-25%

Top 5 Types Of Meat For Athletes: From Grilled To Steamed.

CHICKEN

Chicken is dietary meat. Chicken fillet is loved by bodybuilders and other athletes for its main advantage: high protein content; low calorie and low fat; cheapness; easy cooking; easy assimilation.

Indeed, chicken breast is easily accessible and easy-to-cook meat. You don’t have to be a culinary genius just to cook it. Among other things, chicken meat contains vitamins B, PP, A, minerals of magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc.

Consumption: best retains its properties if boiled, steamed or baked. Better to eat it with a vegetable side dish. If you want to know how to cock your kitchen with grill, check out this page.

PORK

Pork is high-fat meat. Being a fatty product, pork nourishes and warms the body well. It is not recommended for frequent use due to the high content of cholesterol and lipids. In addition, like any red meat in livestock, pigs for pork are grown using hormones and fed with additives for fast growth.

Despite its obvious shortcomings, pork is a meat-rich in composition. Pork contains a full range of B vitamins in a fairly large amount, as well as other minerals and vitamins.

Consumption: can be boiled, stewed and baked. It is not recommended to fry, as fatty fried meat is considered one of the most dangerous products for human health, due to the formation of carcinogens and malassimilation.

BEEF

Useful properties of beef depending on the quality of the meat, its kind, storage conditions, etc. Fresh meat should be juicy, red in color, fiber-marble structure, quite elastic. The meat of an old animal has a dark red tint. Beef is considered the meat with lowest-calorie among red meat, but its calorie content depends on the part of the beef and the method of preparation. Beef is rich in mineral salts of zinc, iron, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, as well as vitamins of groups B, E, PP.

Consumption: just as pork, beef is not recommended to fry due to the formation of carcinogens and an increase in calorie content. It is best to use products rich in vitamins. C, for example with sauerkraut (sour cabbage) – it helps for the best absorption of the iron contained in beef.

LAMB

By calorie content, it is somewhere between pork and beef, but it contains the least cholesterol. It is considered to be “clean” meat, as the prerequisite for raising sheep and rams is the presence of natural green clean grass. But this does not mean that lamb meat does not contain harmful substances, like other red meat. Lamb is rich in vitamins of group B, vitamin E, D, K, as well as a variety of micro and macro elements, in particular iron and sulfur.

Consumption: it is better to use boiled, stewed or fried over an open fire, together with vegetables and herbs.

SOY MEAT 

Soy meat is a product from vegetable (soy) protein. In taste, it resembles meat and is used for cooking vegetarian dishes. The advantage of soy texture over natural meat is its low calorie, fat, and cholesterol content. In terms of vitamin and mineral composition, soy is actually even superior to natural meat. Soy also contains plant fibers that improve bowel function.

The only thing that causes concern is the genetically modified soybean (GM soybean) that has appeared on the market and is spreading rapidly around the world. Accurate data on the dangers of GM soybeans have not been obtained since not much time has passed to study its effect on humans.

TO CONCLUDE

Basically, the positive side of meat is to replenish the reserves of protein and amino acids needed for the body. Therefore, for frequent consumption, poultry (boiled chicken breast for example), which has low-calorie content and high protein content, is perfect. If the size of the meat portion is small, and the amount of consumption will not exceed 2-3 times a week, then any of the presented products can be included in the menu if you keep the general rules for the consumption of meat products.

Sean Lockwood

Sean is a programmer with a passion for extreme sports. Favourite extreme sports discipline is biathlon. Started this blog because of the great love for nature and adrenaline which results in something extreme like Extreme Sports Lab (ESL).

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