Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle for a Sportsperson

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we look at our fitness and the means of achieving our desired results. While working out has always been a priority, the importance of a healthy lifestyle and nutritious diet can not be neglected. Although there is no standard diet that can be beneficial to one and all, we can always improve on our existing food habits and lifestyle.

What is Sports Nutrition?

Sports nutrition is nothing but the right form of intake that will optimize the athletic performance of a person. This concept emerged in the early 1940s among bodybuilders as a way for them to gain the right kind of nutrients in the handiest form possible. Slowly, it gained recognition among people from all walks of life as a way to fuse an invigorating diet into their lives. However, the kind of nutrients that will benefit a person depends on their need, profession, and goals. For example, a professional tennis player usually needs plenty of carbohydrates for refueling; on the other hand, a professional bodybuilder needs a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in their diet. The right kind of nutrients can improve performance, keep athletes hydrated for long, and raise their recovery rate.

Nutrition and a Healthy Lifestyle

Consuming the right nutrients is the first step to a healthy lifestyle. Not only sports enthusiasts, but everyone needs a diet plan that can help them push their limits for good. A fulfilling diet clubbed with physical activity can help in reducing the chances of chronic disease, achieving a healthy body, and leading an active life. As far as athletes are concerned, making the right food choices becomes all the more necessary because they need more calories compared to an average adult.

Not only is the type of nutrients a significant factor, but the number of times we eat in a day also matters. Now, this depends upon the calories we burn, the kind of workout we follow, and the sport we play. For a sports person, the meals consumed before and after a session are the most important meals of the day. Ideally, athletes should eat two hours before their workout.

Impact of a Well-Planned Diet on an Athlete’s Health

A nourishing diet can enhance an athlete’s performance, make them more efficient, and increase their recovery rate during a match rapidly. The intake they follow should promote muscle growth and repair.

An inadequate diet can hamper their performance and lead to an increased recovery rate. It can also lead to hormone suppression because sports generate a lot of stress hormones, and encourage your body to release energy stores.

What Does a Fulfilling Meal Include?

Requirements of every person vary based on their body type, physical activities, and calories burned in a day. The general rule is to replace the number of calories burned and provide sufficient fuel for the body to function. On an average basis, a person needs 1,500 – 2,000 calories in a day, but athletes should consume 500 to 1,000 additional calories, attributing to their demanding profession.

A balanced diet should include all the essential nutrients that are required for everyday activities. These nutrients are:

Carbohydrates – These are considered to be the most significant source of calories in your meal. There are mainly two types of carbs; simple and starchy/complex sugars. Milk products, fruits, and vegetables are a good source of simple sugars. These can be used to provide instant energy to the body since they are easier to break down. Complex sugars can be found in grains like rice, bread, pasta, and white flour. But processed, refined grains like white flour are not recommended as they remove fiber and nutrients.

Fats – Fats are an essential part of any meal. They are required to absorb nutrients and act as a critical fuel for your body. But excessive fat consumption can be harmful as the body needs to work harder to burn fats compared to carbs, and it tends to make you slow. There are mainly two types of fats: Saturated and Unsaturated fats. Animal products and processed food is a rich source of saturated fats, whereas olives, nuts, and avocados provide unsaturated fats. Nutritionists advise the consumption of unsaturated fats, as they are heart-healthy.

Proteins – Proteins are essential for cell repair and building of tissues. It is also required to create enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals in the body. Ideally, they should make up for 10-15% of your daily calorie consumption. Meat, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts, seeds, and soy products are a rich source for proteins.
Dangers of following a rigid diet plan

Strict diet plans can have adverse effects on athletes’ bodies. Since they need a diet rich in all forms of nutrients, a restrictive diet can damage their health. A rigid diet plan can also lead to eating disorders, produce severe stress on our bodies, and become an obsession for many. In the chase to eat healthily, we might end up avoiding the nutritious food needed for our growth.

Instead of following a diet plan, one can always set a balance between calorie intake and physical activity for the desired outcome. It is a much healthier and safe practice since your body will receive all the nutrients it demands.

Staying healthy is the goal, not meeting the societal standards! Following a diet that works for you and benefits you the most is the final objective. Always listen to your body; it will show you the right path.

At Sports School, we understand the importance of healthy eating habits and a good lifestyle for a sportsperson to perform at their best. We have partnered with nutrition experts who regularly monitor and provide diet plans for our students as per their activity level to ensure that they consume the right amount of nutrients and fluids for all-round nourishment and scale up their performance.

How to Balance Sports & Education While At Home

As the current pandemic situation around the world changing the way people live and limiting everyone’s capability to train outdoors, it’s especially hard on the students who have to balance their academics and sports training now while staying at home. It is important for them to balance both of their pursuits but in an environment different from what they are used to, which eventually leads to stress. Adults recognize the signs of stress and overscheduling and are able to control some of the competing variables, but what about children and their stressors? How does the student-athlete manage to achieve good grades and retain optimal performance on the playing field despite being stuck at home? 

Here are a few tips for balancing Sports and Studies while studying at home: 

 

  • Getting and staying organized:

 

Get organized is vital while at home and maintaining the organized structure on an everyday basis. Use a big desk calendar for school and sports. Write down all due dates for work and papers that your teachers ask during online classes. Write down all sport’s practices and games that your coaches ask you to follow every day. Every week revisit your calendar and make corrections.

 

  • Prioritize and plan:

 

Think about what is important to you and what interests you. If you have more interest in sports training, decide to give up on other activities later. You can simply finish your important work first like training and studies and then do other things if time is available. It will also help you to prioritize things from the beginning and instill a pattern of rewarding yourself when you stick to the schedule. 

 

  • Plan your week/month:

 

Take a look at your calendar and make a note of when you have projects due, tests scheduled, etc. Plan how you will study and when you will study along with your training at home. It is essential to stick to your plan religiously for efficiently balancing both sporting and academic pursuits. 

 

  • Do not procrastinate: 

 

It is imperative to do assignments and homework as soon as you get them, rather than waiting until the last minute. Poor planning and waiting until the last minute will result in missed practices or missed assignments that lead to poor skill development and lead to the piling of studies, which will increase the stress. Understandably, homework and training at home aren’t on top of the fun list, but poor planning and waiting until the last minute could yield negative results. 

 

  • Take advantage of the extra time and research about your Interests: 

 

Getting excited about certain parts of sports training and academics can be difficult. Look into books and other materials that will pique your interest in the subject. If you can be disciplined not to start surfing on the internet without any apparent motive, look for top athletes and other known names in the domains you have interest in to understand their mindset. 

 

  • Staying Safe indoors and maintaining your skillset:

 

It is impossible to ascertain as to when the situation will go back to normal or how life would be after a while. Staying indoors to keep yourself and those around you safe is of utmost importance. However, this does not mean that you can not maintain your skillset. Regular training and nutrition while focusing on academics, can significantly impact your overall personality. It’s better to stay ahead than to catch up.

Life’s demands never end. We only get better at dealing with the challenges that come along by learning from them. With more organization and time management, you will balance anything that life throws your way.  At The Sports School, we are committed to providing students with both academic and sports training opportunities. We are offering online classes and encouraging students to stay in touch with coaches and mentors for maintaining their skills. Our belief that It’s a lot easier to stay ahead than it is to play catches up makes us encourage our students to put in the extra effort and time to prevent them from falling behind.

Sports In India During and Post-COVID 19

It is no surprise that the Coronavirus Pandemic has also hit the sporting world. Who knew back in December last year that this is where we will end up? A situation where all popular sporting events will be canceled for months? For example, The most significant blow for Indian cricket fans was when the Indian Premier League (IPL) was canceled. 

As countries one after another went into lockdown, sports athletes and fans’ hopes have started falling. Every single person involved with some sporting activity or the other has been affected, ranging from playing in the neighborhood park to athletes competing in national and international competitions. Whether it is not heading out to the park to play, in fear of contracting the virus from other kids, or international sporting events being canceled, everyone has been affected. As the fact that this pandemic is here to stay for a long time started settling in, one thing is undoubted- sports in India will never be the same. 

Another challenge is dealing with the long-term impact of coronavirus, especially amidst competition involving several competitors. As we know, the sporting world has changed, and how we cope with these changes will define the future for this industry. The following areas are said to be impacted the most- 

Stadiums 

The idea of playing in front of an empty stadium is not something any athlete would have ever dream of, but here it is. And, it seems like the only safe and logical way to restart play. Even if the stadiums are opened up by the authorities, even die-hard fans of the sports will have severe apprehensions about going to the stadiums to watch games. 

Fan engagements

One of the most fun parts for any athlete is engaging with their fans, from autographs to interviews, to selfies. But that seems like a whole other time now. Players all over the world are finding new ways to stay connected with their fans, especially leveraging social media. From Instagram Live sessions to fun Q & A sessions, sportsmen worldwide are speaking with their fans. 

Player Training 

With everyone confined to their homes to stay safe, many ask if players will be able to perform when allowed to since their training has stopped. Several players have adopted new home training techniques and online monitoring, and sometimes they even give their fans a sneak peek (for example- Virat Kohli lifting weights). 

Even the most optimistic sports fans understand that until a vaccine is made and distributed to the masses, the sporting industry can’t return to its pre-COVID-19 status. The realistic fans understand that it is time to live with the utmost precautions, but all is not lost. 

In a recent conversation with BW Education, Dr. Sankar UV, Director at the Sports School, said, “Despite the fact that our way of playing sports and life, in general, are being affected, I believe that sports have a bright chance of picking up post the lockdown. There will certainly be the aspect of heightened safety protocols for the foreseeable future, and since the people of our country have become more conscious of their health, participating in sports to improve fitness will grow. Once sports resume, social distancing is going to be the new norm, and athletes will undoubtedly be more cautious of their well-being.

The current situation has also increased the awareness and importance of good health and overall fitness, which is The Sports School’s philosophy.”