The most crucial component of a healthy lifestyle is proper nutrition. When discussing athletes and their performance, nutrition is a crucial issue to consider. All athletes need a balanced meal that is rich in all the nutrients they need, but female athletes especially need to pay attention to their diet. Body types, levels of energy, and dietary requirements vary between male and female athletes. As a result, male and female athletes have differing nutritional needs. For female athletes, poor diet leads to ill health and subpar performance. Read on to know the entire diet for women in sports.
Diet for women in sports:
The notion that male and female athletes require the same nutrition has been around for a while. But a recent study has altered the idea. The female body is far more intricate than the male body, according to a study. Male and female athletes have different physiological, hormonal, and emotional characteristics. Because of this, female athletes’ nutritional demands are different from those of male athletes. The following are some physical variations between male and female bodies:
- In terms of size, height, and weight, the biologically feminine body differs from the male body. Female athletes’ bodies respond to exercises differently from those of male athletes.
- Female athletes need more energy since they have more body fat than male athletes.
- Menstrual cycles, which result in hormonal ups and downs, affect female athletes. Female athletes experience cramps and suffering during their periods, while elevated oestrogen levels provide them more energy.
- Female athletes need more iron than male athletes because of the menstrual cycle and iron insufficiency.
Nutrition Deficiencies in Females:
The following dietary deficits are frequently observed in female athletes:
- Iron deficiency.
- Calcium deficiency.
- Zinc deficiency.
- Magnesium deficiency.
- Vitamins B deficiency.
- Vitamin D deficiency.
It is advised to eat a balanced diet to get the necessary nourishment. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are all part of a balanced diet. These goods are all loaded with protein, iron, minerals, and vitamins. It is advised to consume low-fat foods and fat-free dairy products. Women who engage in physical activities like sports and exercise have greater energy needs and unique dietary requirements.
A balanced diet is one that has an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. It is advised that female athletes consume a healthy diet.
Foods Rich in Iron For women, iron insufficiency is a typical issue. Due to the iron shortage brought on by menstruation, girls who suffer from this anaemia experience lethargy and exhaustion. The body’s blood circulation depends on iron. You must consume foods that are rich in iron. The recommended daily dose of iron for female athletes is 14.8 mg. The following is a list of iron’s sources:
- Kidney Beans
- Pumpkin seeds.
Foods High in Protein – Protein helps the muscles grow and become stronger. Females often have less muscular mass in their bodies, thus they need to add muscle. Protein aids in tissue healing and the development of robust muscles. For female athletes, 1.2 to 2.0 grammes of protein per kilogramme of body weight per day is advised. Below is a list of protein-rich foods:
- Soya bean.
- Dry fruits.
- Whole grains.
Foods High in Carbohydrates – One of the primary nutrients in meals is carbohydrates. The body receives energy from it. Glucose, the body’s primary energy source, is created when the body breaks down carbs. Glycogen is a type of glucose that can be stored and later used as an energy source. More fat is found on a woman’s body than on a man’s. As a result, more energy is needed. Carbohydrates account for more than 60% of calories. A female athlete’s recommended carbohydrate intake per hour ranges from 30 to 60 grammes. Below is a list of carbohydrate sources:
- Whole grains.
- Vegetables (potato, sweet potato)
Vitamin D – Women frequently have vitamin D insufficiency, which later results in osteoporosis. The recommended vitamin D level for female athletes is 40 ng/ml. sources of vitamin D.
- Fish liver oil.
- Egg yolks.
Calcium is important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It also aids in hormone production, blood clotting, muscle contraction, and blood pressure control. An adult female athlete should consume 700 mg of calcium each day. sources of calcium.
- Poppy seeds.
Hydration – It’s critical to maintain hydration throughout any physical activity. It entails consuming a lot of fluids prior to, during, and following an exercise. Try to consume two to three litres of water every day, minimum. Athletes should think about consuming sports beverages while working out. It will aid with performance and energy by replacing electrolyte loss. Drinks with low carbohydrate and calorie contents are ideal for replacing lost fluids.
Micronutrients are a particular focus when discussing the diets of female athletes. Females frequently have vitamin deficiencies. It is advised that female athletes increase their intake of micronutrients. They consist of:
- Vitamin D.
For strength, muscle growth, and energy, macronutrients are crucial. Females physiologically have less muscular mass and strength, therefore thus need more calories to create the same amount of energy. The diet of female athletes must therefore include macronutrients. They consist of:
All athletes should follow the same nutritional guidelines, however female athletes’ size, height, and weight are different from those of male athletes. Female athletes need to pay particular attention to their food and nutrition because of this. It’s crucial to consider more than simply protein when choosing the finest foods to feed female athletes. Both healthy fats and carbohydrates are crucial, and if possible, all three should be obtained from entire foods. A female athlete should have a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and complete carbohydrates at each meal and snack throughout the day. All of the macronutrients and micronutrients should be included in the diet.
So, this was all about the important diet for women in sports. Also read, Cricketer Rohit Sharma avoids controversy on Pakistan.