Ideally, meals will be a balance of the macronutrients of protein, carbohydrates, and fats—but what the ratios will be can differ significantly, given a wide variety of factors like activity level, age, and weight loss or gain goals.
Athletes, in particular, can find performance gains by focusing on ratios for certain types of sports, which usually fall into the categories of strength and endurance. Let's break down the differences.
Eating for Endurance
When embarking on sports or activities that rely on endurance—which can be anything from running to basketball to swimming—you'll likely be burning calories at a nice pace, which means it's important to refuel with more carbohydrates than protein.
Many studies have found that carbs can improve endurance capacity and help speed up recovery. But that doesn't mean you should load up on refined carbs like white bread and other processed foods. It's much better to get carbs from healthier sources like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes such as beans.
Eating for Strength
If you have a sport that's more about strength—such as weightlifting, wrestling, and power yoga—then you'll likely get better performance by focusing on protein instead of carbs. While you'll need both to some degree, protein has been proven to build and maintain muscle. Much like carbs, you'll want to focus on high-quality sources such as lean meats, fish, eggs and low fat dairy.
For both strength and endurance, incorporating healthy fats is essential—consider options like nuts, avocados, and olive oil. These not only help you feel full for longer, but they also stabilize blood sugar levels, and can "unlock" some types of vitamins from your food.
When creating meal plans based on these factors, it can be especially helpful to bring in some expert insight. Consider tapping into a sports performance nutrition program that's designed to give you individualized nutrition plans to meet your goals.
The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.
Contact us today to get started.
877-609-0123 or 952-835-4512