"The purpose of nutrition is to balance out the energy and nutrients that are needed for basic consumption (=basal metabolism during rest periods) and activity consumption (=increased metabolism due to physical activity) by providing a respective intake of nutrition" (cf. WEINECK 1997, 667).

You can only accomplish ideal performance with optimum training and optimum nutrition.

Nutrition must balance out the five energy balances (calories, nutrients, mineral metabolism, vitamins and fluids):

  • The calories balance includes the burning of proteins, fats and carbohydrates as well as their dietary intake. While proteins are primarily needed for constructive metabolism, fats and carbohydrates are needed for energy metabolism, with each gram of fat providing more than twice the amount of energy that one gram of carbohydrates does. The calories balance includes basic consumption (of which approx. 60% are needed to maintain the body temperature) and activity consumption that depends on the intensity and duration of the respective exercise.
  • The nutrient balance describes the right proportion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates which is at about 15: 25: 60 with a normal mixed diet. To prevent a drop in performance, intense workouts require a particularly high intake of carbohydrates.
  • The fluids balance: Depending on its fat content, 50-70% of the human body are made up of fluids. The fluids balance is closely linked to the electrolyte balance, with sodium, potassium and chloride representing the most important electrolytes. A greater loss of fluids and electrolytes leads to a drop in performance. To maintain the current performance level as well as to provide for a quick regeneration after exercise, a sufficient intake of fluids and electrolytes is needed.
  • Mineral metabolism balance: Minerals (such as sodium, potassium and chloride, calcium, magnesium, phosphor and iron) contribute to the construction of the body and the functioning of the active locomotor system.
  • Vitamin balance: Vitamins are essential elements that our organism cannot synthesize by itself. They must thus be taken in as part of our diet. For growth and physical exercise, our body requires an increased amount of vitamins. As vitamin deficiencies are no longer common in these days (in the western world), however, we only wish to point out the increased need for vitamin C and B1 of athletes.

Regeneration

Stick to the following chronological order to guarantee ideal regeneration after a workout:

  • Replace fluids and electrolytes
  • Replenish energy reserves (diet rich in carbohydrates)
  • Take in proteins for your constructive metabolism

(Cf. WEINECK, J.: Optimales Training: Leistungsphysiologische Trainingslehre unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Kinder- und Jugendtrainings. Balingen 1997.)

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