A game of netball may not be as physically demanding as other kinds of sports, but rigorous and repetitive netball training can take its toll on a person with bad diet. It is your responsibility as a player to take care of your body so that you can always play your best. What food should you eat and what foods should you stay away from? Here’s a quick guide to sports nutrition.
Stock up on iron
Playing netball means having a lot of contact with the floor and other players, so you need iron that promotes oxygen in the body and enhances motor function and mental vitality. Eat a lot of iron-rich foods such as lean red meat, whole-grain cereals and pasta, and vegetables such as spinach and legumes. Try to take these with a glass of juice or other vitamin C sources, because they improve absorption of iron.
What to eat before games
Eat high-carbohydrate foods at least two to three hours before your game to allow your body to digest and distribute vitamins and minerals before you play. Think pasta with low-fat sauces, baked potatoes with low fat fillings, rice, and yoghurt. Carbohydrates provide energy and regulate blood glucose, and also help manage biological recognition processes.
Also, remember to eat your meal slowly and chew your food well to aid in digestion. Anxiety can hamper proper absorption of minerals and vitamins, so relax and think positively as you eat.
Don’t forget to drink
Your body loses a lot of fluids when you play netball, even if its winter and you don’t sweat. Netball requires high-intensity running and a lot of mental exercises, such as concentration and decision-making. Do not let dehydration and dropping glucose levels hamper you from playing your best. Always bring along sports both during training and actual games, because they serve two purposes – they promote more effective hydration and is also maintain a healthy amount of glucose in your body.
Other nutritional tips
Eat healthy snacks throughout the day, especially during training. Good choices include cereal bars, fresh or dried fruits, nuts, and even muffins. These kinds of food are not only packed with essential vitamins, but are also very portable and can be eaten anywhere. Other healthy choices include yoghurts, flavored milk, health drinks such as fruit smoothies, and liquid meal supplements.
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