The nutrition of the athlete

The nutrition of the athlete

The energy expenditure derived from physical activity, and the rest of daily activities and rest should be covered with adequate food in order to:


  • Provide the necessary energy to the body to maintain bodily functions at rest, during exercise and recovery, promote proper growth and development and maintain optimal weight. QUANTITY
  • Provide macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins), micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and water needed. QUALITY
  • Distribute the intake correctly throughout the day REGULARITY Although most players emphasize the pre-competition diet, the important thing is to maintain correct habits that do not need to be modified before games. The daily diet of an athlete must contain foods that provide the immediate principles in the next proportions:
  • 55-60% carbohydrates,
  • 25-30% fat
  • 10-15% of proteins.

* These amounts of immediate principles must be provided from different food groups in order to also ensure the supply of vitamins and minerals.

Depending on the quantities consumed, diets of higher or lower caloric content are obtained according to individual needs. Combining food, varied menus are prepared for the different days of the week.


The distribution of food intake over a day can vary according to schedules, being ideal to make at least 5 meals a day with a caloric intake distributed. Example of a basic diet appropriate for an athlete:



Morning Lunch Snack Dinner


Natural Fruit Juice


Small ham sandwich



Grilled salmon with peas

Rice pudding

Water & bread



Rice salad with tuna in oil

Grillet fillet steak with roasted potatoes



Bread with jam and /or oil



Turkey sandwich


Macaroni with tomato

Grilled chiken



Bread and water

Milk with cereals Peas with hamBaked fish with carrotsPeaches in syrupWater and bread


Here we give you a series of recommendations for the pre-competition diet:

• Eat 3 to 4 hours before the competition

• Avoid foods that are difficult to digest or very spicy and flatulent.

• Do not try new diets before a game (such as no slippers should be released) to avoid annoying surprises

• You should not eat until satiety, the caloric content should be 300- 500 calories.

• The diet should be rich in carbohydrates and low in fat, protein and fiber.

Point out the importance of post-workout and match diet, which is the least attention paid and should constitute a daily routine as a very important part of recovery.


Recommendations for diet after exercise:

The key will be to recover the body reserves of glycogen and re-hydrate, so the replacement of liquids and intake of carbohydrates (HC) should be initiated as early as possible.

• As soon as you finish the exercise, you should start drinking carbonated beverages at an approximate concentration of 6% / liter of water, although if you are more thirsty you can drink water alone.

• When the appetite is recovered, foods rich in high glycemic index HC should be chosen, trying to consume between 9-10gr / Kg of weight in the 24 hours following the activity.

• The optimal HC intake rate is 50 gr / 2 hours, but in practice this may not always be the case, so in the last meal you should include enough HC to supplement the later period of fasting. For example, 150 g of HC should be taken for a period of 6 hours.

• Foods rich in fats and proteins should be avoided especially the first 6 hours after exercise



  • Begin a training session or competition on an empty stomach.
  • Worry about taking vitamins and supplements and forget about the importance of carbohydrate-rich foods
  • Monitor only the diet before competitions and not take care of the daily diet