The appropriate energy requirement for an athlete is one that strikes a balance between energy intake and energy expenditure such that body mass and body composition are maintained at a level consistent with good health and optimal athletic performance (e.g. Gymnast – low energy intake small lean body).
The energy allowance as recommended by Satyanarayan (NIN, 1985) is as follows,
- Warm up and light exercise 5 kcal/min
- Active exercise 7 kcal/min
The energy requirement at a physiological level for a reference sportsman /sportswomen is 3600 kcal/d and 2900 kcal/d.
THE ENERGY REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC SPORTS ACTIVITIES
SOURCE: NIN, 1985.
|SPORTS||kcal/kg body wt/d|
|Athletes (Sprint + Middle distance runner)||55-70|
|Long Distance / Marathon runners||65 –80|
GENERAL GROUPINGS OF SPORTS EVENTS FOR SUGGESTING ALLOWANCES
|GROUP||Average body weight (kg)||Kcal/kg/day||Total
|Type of activity|
|1||80-90 (80+)||70||6000||Power events of higher weight category:
Heavy weight lifting, boxing, wrestling
|2||65 (60-70)||80||5200||Endurance events:
Marathon, long distance running, swimming, walking.
|3||65 (60-70)||70||4500||Team events and power events of middle weight categories:
Hockey, football, volley ball, basket ball, tennis, track cycling.
|4||60||60||3600||Events of light weight category:
Gymnastics, table tennis and yachting.
SOURCE: NIN, 1985
Energy density and Nutrient density of a food preparation is important and needs to be considered in an athlete diet. Energy density of a diet refers to the amount of energy per volume or per weight while the nutrient density refers to the amount of nutrients in relation to energy i.e. per 10 mega Joules.
Athletes need excess of calories depending on type of events; sports to sports, in the same sports- season to season; different time gap before the event, during and after the event, nutrition varies so much that it is essential that athletes’ nutrition should be individualized for optimum results.
An effective diet must contain protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, liquids and roughage. Of the total caloric intake, a certain proportion should be derived from each of the three food nutrients.