Perfect Nutrition In Sports – Eat Right During Sports

Perfect nutrition in sports – eat right during sports

A correct sports diet is not only the basis for maintaining good physical shape. A balanced diet during sports practice also determines your performance.

In other words, you won’t get the best of yourself and the sporting success you want if you eat poorly.

In some previous articles we have talked several times about food, for example the Mediterranean diet and how a healthy lifestyle can improve any performance.

When it comes to sports nutrition, it is important to know that depending on the type of sport you need different nutrients that can affect your metabolism and thus improve your performance.

This means that:

“Nutrition in soccer is different from that of runners or handball players. If athletes follow simple basic rules in their diet, then they can visibly increase their success.”

Perfect nutrition in sports - eat right during sports
Luis Isaias

Sports nutrition: how metabolism can affect performance

In order to apply the basic rules of nutrition for athletes, it is first necessary to understand how the metabolism works.

In fact, our metabolism, also called “exchange of matter”, is the basis of all the biochemical processes in our body.

Not only digestion, but also respiration and energy production are part of metabolic processes.

The various functions of our organism, and thus also the performance during sport, depend on the quality of the metabolic processes in our body.

During the exchange of material, the nutrient components within the cells are used and transformed.

Therefore, our body constantly needs nutrients, precisely because one of its functions is to transport energy.

What are, in fact, the nutrients that our body needs during sport?

As a general rule, our energy needs should be covered around 50% with carbohydrates, 20% with fats and 15% with proteins. When choosing food it is important to always pay attention to its quality.


Carbohydrates are one of the foods that provide the most energy. In fact, the body can store limited amounts of this nutrient in its glycogen stores.

Particularly valuable in sports nutrition are the so-called “good” carbohydrates, which have a low glycemic index. In fact, they prevent blood sugar from rising too high and at the same time provide our body with the energy it needs for a long period of time. Good carbohydrates are found in particular in whole wheat bread, wheat pasta and legumes.

The so-called “bad” carbohydrates, on the other hand, are present, for example, in white flour or sugar. In the long run, they make you fat and provide short-term energy.

Luis Isaias

The fats

Like carbohydrates, fats are also sources of energy and therefore play an important role in sports nutrition.

As a general rule, fats should not be consumed before sports practice, as they are more difficult to digest than carbohydrates.

In fact, if while we train on the soccer field or on the athletics track our body is involved in digestive processes, sports performance would drastically decrease.


Providing enough protein during exercise often makes you think about body building.

In reality, even if you are not interested in sports activities that enhance muscle mass, proteins help in the regeneration processes of muscle fibers that have made an effort and should never be missing, even on the table of non-professional athletes.

Valuable sources of protein are, for example, eggs, lean meat, dairy products and even legumes.

What you should eat before and after exercising
Generally, at least three hours should elapse between the last main meal and training.

Therefore, it is a good idea to consume bread or pasta at the right time, to better replenish our carbohydrate reserves.

Ideally, it’s good to consume carbs during a main meal, the night before your workout, or on an occasion that’s not too close to your workout.

You should never start training on an empty stomach!

A handful of peanuts or two pieces of dark chocolate are more than allowed just before the sport.

The next phase of training is the ideal time to take protein, in order to strengthen the muscles. A glass of low-fat milk can also be a great post-workout snack.

Nutrition and hydration in sport

Since you should also pay attention to your nutrient intake while exercising, but eating while exercising is not recommended, this is where hydration comes into play.

In the context of sports nutrition, drinking not only compensates for the increased need for fluids, but also provides nutrients.

The problem is that by losing amounts of water that correspond to even 1% of our body weight, sports performance decreases exponentially.

That is why it is good to drink without being thirsty. In fact, our body assimilates water in a time interval from its ingestion.

If you follow a balanced sports diet, you should drink at regular intervals throughout the day, in order to maintain a balanced and constant fluid intake: only if the fluid intake is sufficient, the body is able to transport the nutrients where they need to be. to be. coming!

The best water for athletes is rich in sodium. During physical effort you can also drink isotonic drinks, also useful because they provide a good supply of carbohydrates, thus delaying the symptoms of fatigue.

Nutrition and hydration in sport
Luis Isaias

A diet for each sport

When it comes to sports nutrition, remember: each sport requires a different type of effort from the body. A correct diet helps to face any type of training in the right way.

Soccer nutrition

The game of soccer requires not only a constant level of attention from the body, but also subjects it to intervals of intense exertion.

In soccer nutrition, this is what it means: With the last main meal before training, the body receives the carbohydrates it needs. It is good to drink a quarter of a liter of water 10 minutes before kick-off, to ensure that the nutrients reach the blood at the right time.

In the middle of the game, during the break, it is important to recharge your batteries! So you have to drink a glass or two of an isotonic drink and eat a couple of pieces of banana.

At the end of the game it is particularly important to rebalance the supply of water and electrolytes. Two or three hours after the match, it is finally possible to reward yourself with a new main meal. Similar to football are also sports such as handball, ice hockey and basketball and consequently also the diet related to these sports is similar to that of football.

Nutrition in cycling

Also in cycling nutrition it is important to ensure that carbohydrate intake is sufficient. On longer tours, you should always take bananas, muesli bars and isotonic drinks with you.

Never forget to drink a lot of water or isotonic drinks or just a little apple juice. It is also recommended to avoid too heavy meals after training.

Nutrition on the run

Pre-run foods should be easy to digest and low in fiber. For example, scrambled eggs or even whole-grain toast with honey are ideal.

Before running, keep your hydration level constant throughout the day. During the race, the ideal would be to drink 0.1-0.2 liters of water every 20 minutes.

Warning: Drinking too much weighs on the stomach.

The food to eat after the race depends on the final goal that is proposed to us.

Those preparing for the marathon should ensure their glycogen stores are well replenished, while those running to lose weight should aim for adequate protein.

Nutrition in heavy athletics

If you prefer to do weights in the gym, you must eat properly. If you’re hungry just before you exercise, you can eat a banana, an apple, or (sugar-free) yogurt with oatmeal without feeling guilty.

Adequate protein intake affects muscle strength. Post-workout, therefore, it’s good to consume high-quality protein sources such as lean meats, dairy, and legumes.

Protein shakes, especially for non-professional athletes, are not always necessary.

The protein intake, which must be supplied to the body after training, can also be recovered with a balanced diet. To be on the safe side with a true protein bomb, just try a bowl of queso fresco flakes!


As we have seen, diet represents a fundamental pillar to reach high levels in all sports.

Regardless of the sport, there is a recommended diet and nutrition.

In all, however, we find common points such as:

  • The presence of meat and fish in equal quantities;
  • A high consumption of fruits and vegetables;
  • A small percentage of sugars.

All this together with water and physical activity leads to a good functioning of our organism.