Most people struggle searching for the perfect meal to eat before an athletic event. On average, the typical athlete will need to consume 50-60% of their daily calories from carbohydrates, 30% from fats, and 10-20% from protein. Every athlete is different and these ratios might be altered depending on the type, intensity, and length of exercise an athlete participates in.
The performance plate offers three different options for athletes: easy, moderate, and hard exercise days. Each plate gives various ratios of fats, grains, lean proteins, and produce that one should eat. Fats include: olive and canola oils, avocados, cheese, and butter. Whole grains include: pasta, rice, and breads. Lean protein includes: fish, chicken, soy products, legumes, lean beef, and eggs. Any type of fruits and vegetables are appropriate.
The easy performance plate consists of one teaspoon fats, one-fourth whole grains, one-fourth lean protein and one- half fruits and vegetables.
The moderate performance plate consists of one tablespoon fats, one-third whole grains, two-fifths vegetables and fruits, and one-fourth lean protein.
The hard performance plate consists of two tablespoons fats, one-fourth vegetables, one-fourth lean protein, and one-half whole grains.
Whole grains are important to consume because they provide fiber and energy for glycogen stores. The higher the intensity of the work-out, the higher amount of carbohydrates needed. Vegetables and fruits provide extra water as well as antioxidants which fight free radicals in the body. They also provide essential vitamins and minerals needed by the body to enhance performance. Fats are anti-inflammatory and provide cushion for joints. Omega 3 and 6 are the good fats that should be consumed at every meal. They also help to lower LDL cholesterol. Lean protein is essential to help build muscle and recover torn muscle as a result of exercise. Lastly, water is the best source for proper hydration and should be accompanied at every meal. Eight cups per day is the minimum requirement for water, but athletes will need to consume more than that to remain properly hydrated.
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