Nutrition Realm
food groups

Sports Nutrition: 5 Food Groups Every Athlete Needs to Consume

Everybody wants to be fit, Even you... That's why you're here, It's okay. It's so fine 🙂 That's a healthy living lifestyle you've adopted there.

Congratulations.

​As easy as it sounds, living a healthy and fit lifestyle does have many things connected... There's the aspect of proper nutrition and eating, diet management, exercise and workouts.

For an athlete struggling to get his/her sports nutrition game on point, it's no difference (Maybe slightly).

Athletes sort of need more due to their duties and we all know it demands a lot from the body.​

Here’s the breakdown for you. But, we want to strongly inform you that what is listed here is the minimum of what your body needs to perform. The more you demand from your body, the more it will need.

As time goes on, Nutritionrealm will keep you updated. Here are the 5 food groups every athlete needs for better sports nutrition.

1. The Diary Group

Your body needs dairy to provide your body with calcium. Proteins, vitamin A, and riboflavin are also found in dairy, making it necessary for good nutrition.

You should consume at least 3 servings per day which is about 8 ounces of liquid or about one and a half ounces of solids.

Dairy foods

You will find dairy in milk, yogurt, and cheese. You should limit the amount of fat that comes in from these items though.

Low fat products increase the good while decreasing the bad.

2. The Vegetable Group

Vegetables are ideal. You will get many of your nutrients like vitamins and minerals from vegetables. You need an all around good variety of foods to fit this need.

To balance what you eat, try to eat lots of different colors and look for dark colors for more benefit. You should have five servings of vegetables per day which is about half of a cup of raw or cooked vegetables, one cup of leafy vegetables or six ounces of juice.

vegetables

Great choices in vegetables include tomatoes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts for their high levels of vitamin C. For vitamin C, go with carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, greens, and spinach.

Darker colors, like dark greens, deep reds, oranges and yellows are ideal for a good overall nutritional value.

3. The Meat Group

With meat comes protein, the very building block for muscles. Therefore you need to insure that you get enough protein in your diet to allow you to build your strength.

meat

Meats also include iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and zinc. You need to consume three servings per day in meats. This is about three ounces of cooked meats, two eggs, one cup of cooked beans or lentils, or four tablespoons of peanut butter.

Good choices include lean amounts of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, dry peas and beans, peanut butter and eggs.

4. The Grains Group

You will learn that carbohydrates are a necessary building block for energy in the body and many will come from grains. They provide complex carbohydrates that you need including starch and fiber. Additionally, they contain protein, the B vitamin group and iron.

grains

You need to consume eleven servings of carbohydrates per day. This is about one slice of bread, three or four crackers, half of a coup of cereal, rice or pasta, and one ounce of breakfast cereal. Good choices for sports nutrition include grains that are whole grain.

In this group you find cereals, bread, pasta, and rice. Whole grains are a must.

5. Fruits

Fruits are another source of many of your necessary minerals and vitamins. They have vitamin C which is powerful and can be found in your citrus foods.

fruits

Additionally, melons, strawberries and blueberries are all great sources. Apricots are great for Vitamin A. You need to consume four servings per day in fruits which is one whole fruit item like eating a banana or an apple.

Half of a grapefruit, six ounces of fruit juice, or a quarter of a cup of dried fruits equals a serving.

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