Nutrition for athletes. 5 important nutrition tips before, during and after your training!

Do you want to become (even) stronger and fitter? You can! During a Kicksfit workout you don’t only work on your football skills, but your entire body is put to work in a challenging way based on the HITT principle (High Intensity Interval Training principle). However, to achieve the maximum result, not (only) your training, but especially your diet and lifestyle are of large importance. Graduate Sports nutrition consultant and Kicksfit Trainer Jelmer Siemons shares the 5 most important tips for nutrition for athletes with you.

Provide a good basis

Whether you belong to the recreational or performance-oriented athletes, good nutrition is the basis. Also in 2022, the food pyramid is still very valuable. Using the food pyramid, you can easily check whether you are getting enough nutrients on a daily basis. A summary of the most important recommendations:

• Have a lot of fruit and vegetables

• Choose whole grain products

• Choose less meat and more vegetables

• Make sure you have enough low-fat and semi-skimmed dairy (including milk and yogurt)

• Eat a handful of unsalted nuts every day

• Choose soft or liquid fats

• Drink enough, such as tap water, tea and coffee

Provide sufficient fluids

Don’t forget to drink enough before, during and after your Kicksfit workout. Depending on, among other things, the weather conditions, you can use as a guideline 400-600 ml of fluid for two hours before the workout and 150-250 ml during and after the workout. To make sure you’re getting enough fluids, you can stand on the scale before and after your Kicksfit workout and check how much fluid you’ve lost. For every kilogram you lose, you need to drink about one and a half liters.

Be careful with sports drinks

Many athletes think they are doing well if they take a sports drink after an intensive Kicksfit workout. Which is not quite true! For a workout of up to an hour, water is the best thirst quencher, as it is quickly absorbed into the body (hypotonic). It does contain less energy compared to, for example, an isotonic (4-8 gr. carbohydrates per 100 ml.) or hypertonic (>8 gr. carbohydrates per 100 ml.) sports drink. However, with 2 drinks of AA drink High Energy (hypertonic) after your workout, you have already consumed the calories you just burned!

Measurement is knowledge

There are numerous apps on the market to monitor whether your diet (as an athlete) contains sufficient nutrients and does not contain too many calories and salt. Personally, I regularly use “the Eat Meter” for this. In addition, there are various valuable wearables on the market that give you insight into your combustion during your Kicksfit workout and during the rest of your day.

To lose weight responsibly and/or to become more lean, a negative energy balance is required. In concrete terms, this means that less energy enters the body than goes out of the body. Keep the way of gradual (- 300 to 500 cal per day) instead of a strict diet. In the long term, this cannot be sustained and the chance of a “yo-yo effect” is huge.

Eat 2-3 hours before your Kicksfit workout

To have enough energy during a workout, athletes need carbohydrates from their diet. If these are taken too shortly before the start of the workout, the body is still busy digesting them and you can suffer from this (including stitch). Choose for complex carbohydrates such as pasta or a banana instead of a muesli or energy bar as much as possible. A bar contains a lot of sugars and provides a short energy peak that quickly collapses. This gives you an energy dip.

Also avoid high-fat products prior to your Kicksfit workout. These are digested very slowly. After the workout (approx. 30-60 min.) you can replenish your energy by choosing a small meal rich in carbohydrates and proteins. The proteins are an important part of nutrition for athletes and an important building material for the muscles.

About HITT

HIIT is a heavy training form in which you alternate intensive efforts with short breaks. According to several scientific studies, HIIT can have the same or even greater training effects in less time compared to traditional endurance and strength training. You don’t only get fitter, but you also improve the condition of your heart, blood vessels and lungs (including blood pressure and cholesterol) and HIIT can also help you lose weight, of course in combination with the right nutrition for athletes!

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