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Whether you are a world class athlete or an exercise enthusiast nutrition is fundamental to fitness A varied moderate and balanced eating plan that supplies the right amount of nutrients and energy is essential for achieving and maintaining strength flexibility and endurance What is a balanced eating plan to fuel up for fitness The best eating plan for athletes does not differ much from a regular balanced diet It should include adequate fluids and plenty of low-fat high carbohydrate foods that provide energy and replenish the fuel and fluids used during physical activity Athletes should pay careful attention to their nutrition needs before during and after exercise Why are carbohydrates so important for athletes Carbohydrates are one of the main sources of energy for working muscles Thats why carbohydrate-containing foods should comprise at least 60 percent of the calories in an athletes eating plan Some foods high in carbohydrate and low in fat include breads grains pastas vegetables fruits fruit juices and juice drinks Muscles replenish stored carbohydrates most efficiently within the first two hours following exercise Therefore athletes should eat or drink 200 to 400 carbohydrate calories as soon as tolerable after exercise and then again two hours later Here are a few 200 to 400 calorie suggestions Two pieces of fruit such as a banana and orange or apple 12 oz fruit juice cocktail like cranberry or fruit juice like grapefruit or orange 1 cup non-fat frozen or regular yogurt topped with 1 cup blueberries or raspberries 1 cup of grapes and 1 bagel 1 oz of cereal with 12 cup skim milk and 12 cup sliced banana 1 cup low-fat vegetable soup with 1 pita pocket 1 bran blueberry or cranberry low-fat muffin with a cup of skim milk What is the role of fluids in sports nutrition When you are physically active your body requires water or other fluids so it can cool itself primarily through evaporation of sweat Athletes must
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