5 principles for everyday eating for every Athlete

Murtaza Karachiwala
June 29, 2021

The ‘one size fits all’ approach cannot hold true for sports nutrition, for the basic reason that there are specific nutritional needs of each sport. Thus, there is no perfect combination ofoods or a single eating plan that will meet the nutritional challenges of every athlete .But there are certain goals that are common to all sports. And before we branch into the special and individual areas ofsports nutrition, we must start with some general principles, based on the common ground shared by all athletes. Once youhave a structure in place, you can fine-tune your eating plan to respond to your particular nutritional needs and dietary goals. So let’s start with the 5 thumb rules for everyday eating for an


Enjoy a variety of food

Sounds clichéd? We have been hearing this principle every now and then. But why is it so important? And what does having a variety in diet actually means? We tend to take an overly simplistic view of the food we eat, focusing on one or two nutrients, such as iron, cholesterol o rs ugar. We tag labels on food—for example, we might believe that yoghurt is ‘good’ for us while chocolate is ‘bad’ and this leads to narrow and rigid eating. In fact, it’s the way we use food that determines whether it’s a good or a bad choice in assisting us to meet our specific nutrition goals. This depend son what we are trying to achieve and what else we eat over the course of the day. For instance, a banana almond smoothie might be a great afternoon snack for a hungry football player with high energy needs. But it would be beyond the energy budget of a tinygymnast. Thus, The real value of a food needs to be judged in context. A lost, One needs to appreciate how marvelously complex our food really is. Nutrients and food chemicals do not exist in isolation and are not consumed that way. There is more to an orange than vitamin C, and more to meat than protein. Seen from another angle, consuming a varied diet is ‘eating immoderation’. Since the nutritional problems are linked mostly to overconsumption of certain foods, having a wide variety is a good way to keep your intake of all food components within healthy bounds. Last, but by no means least, a varied diet offers greater opportunities for flexibility, enjoyment and adventure with food.

How to include variety in your diet?

  • Color your eating with a rainbow of fruits and

vegetables everyday—aim for a daily goal of at least five

serves of veggies and two serves of fruit to find this

colour diversity:

  1. Pink-red (e.g. tomatoes, watermelon, pomegranate, beetroots, guavas, apples, red bell peppers, strawberries)
  2. Yellow-orange (e.g. carrots, pumpkin, lemons, sweet potatoes, mango, peaches, apricots, papaya, pineapple, corn, yellow bell peppers)
  3. Green (e.g. spinach, methi leaves, peas, broccoli, beans, capsicums, green apples, cucumbers, gourds, ladyfinger)
  4. Blue-purple (e.g. purple grapes, plums, brinjal, fresh figs, pomegranate)
  5. White (e.g. bananas, onions, cauliflowers, potatoes, mushrooms,)
  • Be prepared to try new foods.
  • Think global, act local i.e. increase your intake of locally available foods in your area.
  • Visit markets to see the seasonal produce. Eat what is in season.
  • Try newer recipes using the familiar ingredients.
  • Reach out to the long lost, forgotten traditional recipes.
  • Explore all the varieties of a food—for example; try
  • breads and cereals made from grains other than wheat (jowar, bajra, ragi etc.).
  • Mix and match foods at your meals.
  • Avoid meals made up of just one food type, such as a fruit-only lunch or toast-only breakfast.
  • Add fresh herbs and spices for extra flavor and for the
  • plant nutrients they provide.
  • Think carefully before you banish a food or food group from your diet, even if it contains a problematic ingredient. Consider what other value the food may have—in particular, which extra nutrients it could supply. Consider ways to reduce or modify your intake of the food rather than discarding it entirely.
  • Vary the flavors: Different ingredients and seasonings add layers of flavors. A balance of sweet, sour and salty tastes is far more appealing than a single taste. A sweet and sour soup is better appreciated than a cream tomato soup.
  • Vary the texture: Contrast crunchy foods with soft foods. For example, add crunchy raw vegetables to rice.
  • Varying colors, flavors, textures, shapes, temperatures of meals and cuisines helps to make eating more interesting and nutritious.

Written by
Murtaza Karachiwala
Experience in the Sports Industry from Past 5+ Years and a vision on Providing Beautiful Sports jersey around the world.

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