People who play sports usually follow a diet to get the very best out of their workouts.
There is a myth that athletes should avoid fat, eat lots more protein and take supplements.
But this is a myth that needs debunking. For our body to perform at its very best, we need to feed it lots of nutrients, which are very specific for sports diets.
The famous Olympian Milo of Croton, of Ancient Greece, is said to have lifted an ox on his shoulders. He is alleged to have eaten 8 kg of meat and lots of bread and drunk almost 10 litres of wine a day.
Looking closely at this information, it is clear that his sports nutrition was based on carbohydrates and proteins. Experts today suggest that we include certain other foods for an optimal sports diet.
What nutrients do athletes need?
The nutritional plan is designed taking into account many elements: the physical condition of the athlete, the type of sport they practice, the training phase (for what is known as nutrient timing), the sporting challenges, etc.
A good sports diet should help us to reach our goals: have more energy, gain muscle mass, enhance the body’s performance, improve recovery and, most importantly, improve our personal bests.
Experts recommend a diet distributed as follows:
50-60% carbohydrates, 20-30% fat and 10-15% protein.
Carbohydrates are fuel energy for athletes.
Protein helps to build and repair muscle tissue.
Fats are a source of lasting energy.
Vitamins and minerals contribute to the overall health of the body.
Cold meats, your sports training partner
Meat is a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. It also plays an essential role in sports nutrition, since it is an important source of protein, fat, minerals and vitamins.
Lean meats like serrano ham, turkey and chicken are an excellent source of high biological value proteins, vitamin B, iron and calcium.
Fatty cold meats from pork, such as chorizo and fuet also provide lots of high-value proteins and minerals such as zinc, phosphorus, iron and calcium. They can also be eaten occasionally as a source of fat.
Cold meats are therefore great partners for sports training. They are also easy to prepare as a snack and, of course, an undisputed source of enjoyment for the palate.
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