It is now common for an athlete to travel frequently either in his home country or outside to participate in various races. Although a trip is an opportunity to get to know a new place, in the case of athletes a trip is usually forced and restricted in conditions of low physical activity. This forced reduction in physical activity leads to boredom and apathy.
It is common for many athletes to consume high-fat snacks and energy during a trip, which can lead to unwanted weight gain. At the same time, athletes spending so much time away from home are required to adapt depending on their daily routine. There are many challenges to face, such as:
- The jet lag, due to the rapid movement from one time zone to another
- The change in the established training and nutrition program during the journey
- Changes in climatic and environmental conditions leading to new nutritional requirements
- Adaptation to the new environment
- The absence of known and familiar foods
- Confidence in the good quality of the food cooked in the hotel or restaurant
- The risk of gastrointestinal disorders due to poor hygiene
The key to success for the traveling athlete is proper preparation and organization so that they are ready to face potential problems while traveling and staying overseas. Wherever you go for the first time, you must have collected the appropriate information both on the conditions of residence and on the nutritional particulars of the new place.
Nutrition tips for athletes while travelling – The right foods
The key nutrients for a proper diet that will meet the athlete’s energy needs during the journey are:
- Cereals for breakfast and skimmed milk powder
- Fruit packed in plastic bags
- Dried fruits: raisins, prunes, apricots, figs
- Crackers, wafers, jam and honey (in individual packages)
- Chocolate bars
- Sports drinks
- Powdered liquid meal supplements
- Vitamins and supplements
Practical tips for organizing a group meal in a restaurant
- Book a restaurant relatively early and negotiate menus. Notify them of the exact time of arrival at the restaurant on the same day.
- A well-organized buffet is the best choice: the food is easy to serve, relatively inexpensive and offers the flexibility to choose the type and amount of food to be consumed.
- Plan a menu that is based on high-carbohydrate foods and at the same time offers sufficient quantities and various meat options to meet the tastes and needs of all athletes. If planning is for more than one day, you should try to improve the variety day by day and not necessarily at the same meal.
- Arrange special meal modifications for Athletes Diet with special requirements (eg vegetarians or those who have some discomfort with some foods)
- Remember that during a trip, small meals between the main meals are often neglected, especially when meals are planned by companies or restaurants for three main meals a day. For this reason, it is useful to provide some food during the main meals that athletes can take with them and eat later such as fruit, yogurt and individual cakes. Alternatively, there may be a common room for all athletes, with a fridge so that various snacks and other foods such as breakfast cereals can be stored.
Practical Nutrition tips for athletes to Minimize the Risk of Gastrointestinal Disorders in Areas with Bad Hygiene
- Raw vegetables should be avoided unless they are thoroughly washed with clean water.
- The consumption of fruits should be limited to those that can be cleaned (oranges, bananas, apples ..)
- Unpasteurized dairy foods should be avoidedBuying food from outdoor stores should be avoided
- If the public water supply is not safe, only boiled or bottled water should be consumed. If bottled drinks or fruit juices are used for the daily needs of liquids, the energy they contain should be included in the total energy intake
- Bathing water should be avoided and bottled water should be used for teeth washing.
In conclusion, we must not forget that the goal of the Nutrition tips for athletes on a journey is always one: maintaining nutritional habits and nutritional requirements as at home, to maximize performance, always with the help of a qualified nutritionist. in sports nutrition!