Understanding The Connection Between Diet And Performance
Nutrition and motor sports performance go hand in hand.
An active lifestyle and exercise routine with healthy living is the best way to stay healthy.
All sports carry physical and mental demands. Nutrition plays a vital role.
Healthy foods with the correct amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals are needed.
Hydration levels are also super important, and drinking plenty of water maintains a healthy body and mind.
A good diet gives your body the energy it needs to complete a sporting activity or any activity requiring mental focus.
With the right balance, you will be energised and perform well. Otherwise, you'll feel very sluggish and have poor performance.
Nutrition And Mental Well-Being
Nutrition plays a role in physical well-being, especially if you are active, but it also affects our mental state.
As in all sports and activities, you need to have the mental energy and focus to achieve your goals, whether it is your daily work, racing with motorbikes even planning march madness bets. You will need the mental drive to make the best decisions, focus and maintain a stable mood.
An unbalanced sugar or glucose level can create unstable moods, high and low energy levels and poor concentration, which makes it difficult to focus on any task.
Our bodies are like our bikes. If wehave the perfect amount of fuel, our performance will be splendid.
Mental Health Can Be Improved By:
- Limiting sugar by opting for complex carbohydrates like brown rice and oatmeal will help prevent mood swings and assist brain functionality.
- Fruit is an excellent source of fibre and sweetness, which creates a slow release of sustained energy and fuel.
- Drinking plenty of water during the day.
- Consuming healthy fats like nuts and avocados. These are great for our brains and assist in concentration.
Nutrition and Sports Performance
When it comes to sports performance and nutrition, there are 3 main goals that a nutrition plan has to fulfil.
- Create Energy – To perform optimally, your body needs energy. Energy is created by the foods we consume. It is vital to meet the caloric demands of your sporting activity or exercise and how these are consumed. A nutritional plan will need to take into consideration macronutrients, micronutrients, hydration, ratios and supplements.
- Assist in Recovery – Glycogen or energy storage depletes in the muscles, and some proteins are broken down or damaged after training or a sporting exercise. Glycogen stores can be replenished by eating during or after training, preventing muscle breakdown and a fastened recovery period.
- Achieve and Maintain Body Weight – To maximise performance, athletes must achieve and maintain optimal body weight and fat levels. A nutritional plan needs to be created to achieve this that is also effortless for the athlete to stick to.
Basic Nutrients Needs
Fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water are a must for everyone. These help to create energy, assist in growth, prevent deficiencies and degenerative diseases and regulate body processes.
However, the body can’t produce these in the quantities needed daily, which is why the right diet is paramount to keeping the human body performing at its best.
Carbohydrates – Stored in the form of glycogen, carbohydrates can be used during physical activity and are necessary to meet the energy required for exercise, maintain blood glucose levels and replenish stored muscle glycogen.
Proteins – during exercise, proteins transfer nutrients to the blood and connective tissue and repair tissues.
Fats – Fat is used as fuel in low to moderate-intensity exercises. It also provides structure to cell membranes, lines the nerves, aids in the production of hormones, and makes the process of absorption of fat-soluble vitamins easier.
Vitamins and Minerals – Vitamins assist in sustaining body health overall, and minerals support the structural development of tissues and regulate bodily processes.
Water – often overlooked, is paramount for any athlete as it keeps them hydrated and helps regulate body temperature.
An athlete's diet is not much different from a diet recommended for a healthy person, but the differentiation is the amount of each food group you need.
The amount you need depends on your sport or training and the time spent on these.
As everyone is different, you need to learn what works for you in terms of the following:
- How long before exercising should you eat
- What is the right amount of food for you
If you're unsure what to eat, a professional will give you the best diet advice based on your sport or exercise.
Whether you’re running a marathon, racing in a high-adrenaline motorbike tournament, casually hiking a trail or using your brain to concentrate on a high-skilled casino game, nutrition is vital. Having the correct amount of nutritional sources that fuel your body and mind will help you reach peak performance in any activity that you take on.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the motorcycling and adventure space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.