Fuel For Performance – Foods To Fuel Athletes Performance On Field

fuel for performance

At competitions and athletic meets fuel for performance, the margin between victory and defeat is very small. How well an athlete trains and competes is influenced by his eating and drinking patterns. This is why he should be aware of his personal nutritional goals and how to build up an eating plan in order to achieve this goal. According to the best nutritionist in Hyderabad, the needs of all athletes differ and individual needs change across in-season and off-season and the athlete should be flexible enough to modulate it.

A good and healthy diet helps an athlete supports his consistent efforts in training and also limits the risks of illness or injury and may also bring about body adaptations in response to the training stimulus. Thus, getting the correct amount of energy and nutrients from the diet is extremely crucial in order to stay healthy and perform well.

An athlete may gain body fat as a result of consumption of too much energy but an energy deficit may lead to a decline in his performance, injuries and illness. The energy in a given food is determined by the macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) content of the food. This makes it important for an athlete to understand how much and when should a portion of food be consumed to meet their nutritional requirements.

Important Diet Fuel For Performance List

Follow the list of molecules to get best fuel for performance.


serve as a primary source of energy for athletes performing high-intensity activities and can be consumed in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals, bread, and pasta.


proteins help in muscle building and repair and the timing of intake is important with respect to training and competition and a well-thought vegetarian diet is also capable of meeting the protein needs of an athlete easily.


fats also play a major role in helping athletes meet their energy needs. Fat intake should fall in the range of 20-35% of the total energy intake and not fall below than 15%. Nuts, jars of butter, avocados, olive, coconut, soybean and mustard oils are some healthy fat sources.

Hence, a mixed diet that majorly consists of nutrient-rich choices will ensure that energy needs are met and the athlete gets all essential vitamin and minerals. It is important for athletes to know that alcohol is not a macronutrient but still contributes to a significant amount of calories and can lead to undesirable weight gain.


Hydration status of an athlete is important for his Fuel For Performance and foods and drinks must contain sufficient salt to replace the salt lost in sweat. Pre and post workout weight helps determine the sweat loss and every kg of weight loss should be replaced by 1litre of fluid. Water, fresh juice, low-fat milk, and sports drink make excellent choices for hydration.


Strength training relies primarily on carbohydrates for energy. The muscles break down their own protein to best fuel for performance during intense training. Endurance training consumes both fats and carbohydrates. The body rebuilding stronger muscles is what leads to growth in muscle mass and increased strength and endurance. The first two-three hours after training are the most critical for exercise recovery to perform well due to which the demand remains high for at least 24 hours after training. As we know if nutritional demands are not met during this period, recovery will be prolonged over days or weeks.

Proper nutrition for the ‘big games’ does not happen overnight. It is advised not to experiment with new foods and supplements, high fat and fibrous foods on competition day to avoid any GI issues. Athletes and their parents should prepare beforehand by packing a variety of food and beverages for the event.

What To Eat Before a Sports Game

During events, sports drinks, bars, gels, and jelly beans supply athletes with fast-acting carbohydrates for instant energy supply. These products are made with sugars like glucose, fructose, and maltodextrin and make them more palatable. It is now believed that add11ing a combination of sugars leads to better absorption in the intestinal lining rather than incorporating glucose solely in the energy product.

Along with sugars, sports foods also contain salt to replenish electrolytes. Caffeine, L-glutamine and carnitine act as metabolic boosters. Citrulline from watermelon, quercetin from beetroot and dark vegetables and green tea extracts has been known to increase energy production. Ingredients like β-almandine and anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin delays muscle fatigue and soreness.

Caloric Intake and Meal Frequency

Studies suggest that both caloric intake and meal frequency may be important factors in metabolic disorders, and their relative influence varies according to gender. Lower meal frequency (2 or fewer meals/day) was associated with higher risk of metabolic syndrome compared to higher meal frequency (3 meals/day).

Modern lifestyles favour longer periods of daily energy intake and shorter fasting periods. Disrupted eating habits are related to metabolic downfalls which contribute to an increasing number of people suffering from obesity and diabetes. Fasting brings various positive health impacts by improving metabolism by a complex hermetic response, suggesting that modulation of the fasting period can be used as a therapeutic intervention.

Athletes like John Staley have benefitted from foods like grape seed extract and omega-3 fatty acid supplements which help in boosting immune system or repair joint pain and also fastens healing process and decrease muscle soreness due to exercise.

Carbohydrates Importance

Recovery foods commonly contain a 3-to-1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein ratio to replenish the depleted glycogen stores. One favourite is chocolate milk. Tart cherry juice as a recovery food lessens pain and weakness after endurance events by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. In order to ensure optimum recovery after exercise, the recovery food should be consumed immediately or maximum within 90 minutes after the exercise. Thus, getting the correct amount of energy and nutrients from the diet is extremely crucial in order to stay healthy and Fuel For Performance well.

Addition of the branched-chain amino acids or BCCAs that include leucine, isoleucine, and valise have proved to be beneficial for muscle disorders as they stimulate muscle build-up and reduce muscle breakdown and also strengthen the immune system.

Even studies from the best nutritionist suggest that proper intake of macro and macronutrients helps meet the boy’s basic and athletic needs and the base of an athlete’s physical training will be built by properly fuelling the body, allowing recovery and providing proper nutrients. The importance of a proper diet and nutrition for an athlete can be overstated but should never be under-estimated.