Nutritional Intake for Athletes is Often Neglected


Nutritional Intake for Athletes is Often Neglected. The Indonesian athlete, who initially only targeted 30 gold medals, was unexpectedly over the target. Of course, the achievements of our athletes are very proud. The achievements of athletes like this cannot be separated from many things. Not an athlete can instantly get maximum results. An athlete does not only need support for technical skills, physical training, support for facilities and infrastructure but also support for nutritional intake. Nutritional intake for athletes is often neglected. In fact, the prime appearance of athletes is supported by nutritional intake.

Nutritional Intake for Athletes is Often Neglected. Also, this nutritional intake is needed in the body’s biological work, to provide the body with energy when an athlete performs various physical activities, for example during training, competing, and during recovery both after training and after competing. Good nutritional intake will also help repair or replace damaged body cells. The right food choices will help to optimize energy and help the athlete to recover after competing. Energy requirements for athletes vary depending on the duration, type, and intensity of the exercise being performed. Nutritional needs that must be met are both types of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins).

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The following are the nutrients that athletes need for intake:


Carbohydrates are a source of energy for athletes. This substance is stored in the form of glycogen in muscles. Muscles can usually store glycogen for 60-90 minutes (for high-intensity exercise). Carbohydrates are digested in the body for about 1-3 hours. All kinds of carbohydrates before being absorbed will be converted into glucose. The amount of carbohydrates eaten depends on the weight of the exercise. If carbohydrate intake is not enough, it will have an impact on muscle fatigue. And this will interfere with the athlete’s performance. Examples of foods high in carbohydrates include cereals, bread, pasta, rice, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.


Once a protein is important, athletes will be advised to consume high-quality protein foods such as chicken, beef, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and seeds.


Fat is needed as a source of energy for a long period of time, for example for running a marathon. The selection of fatty foods should not be arbitrary. Before and during exercise it is not recommended to consume high-fat foods. This is because the fat will take a long time to digest and have a long stay in the stomach.


Vitamins play an important role in regulating and assisting the chemical reactions of energy-producing nutrients. In a state of deficiency, one or more can interfere with training capacity. The need for vitamins, especially water-soluble vitamins (vitamin B and C) increases with the increase in energy demand. Additional several vitamins and minerals are important to consider exercises such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K.

Water and fiber

Water in the body is the largest component where the proportion reaches 60-70% of adult body weight. During competitions that require endurance such as a marathon or brisk walking, attention must be paid to replenishing liquid reserves. Dehydration, disturbed water, and electrolyte balance, and body temperature regulation can cause fatigue and harm. Water losses that exceed 4 – 5% of body weight can interfere with an athlete’s appearance. Severe dehydration can potentially cause your body temperature to rise and lead to heatstroke and can be fatal. Therefore athletes, especially those who do endurance activities, must realize the importance of drinking fluids during training and afterward, even though they don’t feel thirsty yet.