This is the diet of an elite soccer player
Female athletes should take special care with their iron and calcium levels
If healthy and balanced eating is essential in the health of any person, in the case of elite athletes it is literally essential. And, in the case of female athletes, due to some specific genetic characteristics, the care of this diet is also indispensable.
This was explained by Vicky Losada, captain of the Barcelona Women’s Soccer Club and Dr. Nieves Palacios, specialist in Endocrinology and Nutrition and in Physical Education and Sports Medicine, during an event organized by American Pistachio Growers, in which he dissected how he should be the diet of an elite athlete, in this case, of a footballer.
«It is important both the diet and have a good balance of hydration. Athletes must have an adequate weight and a good percentage of fat. In the end there is an activity, sometimes moderate, sometimes very intense, but always constant, so you have to meet some energy needs, ”explained Dr. Palacios.
On the other hand, the doctor explained that a footballer can burn about 300 calories during a training, while, if it is a match, this figure can rise to 1000. Therefore, Nieves Palacio commented on the essentiality of the contribution energy of athletes, and the recovery of this energy. For this, the professional pointed out three pillars on which this energy contribution is based: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Carbohydrates are the basis of food and, said Dr. Navarro, these should be taken before and after physical exercise.
Proteins, on the other hand, are necessary for recovery once the sporting activity has been carried out, and should not be eaten later than two hours after it. “A good example of vegetable proteins would be nuts, such as pistachios or cashews, which can be added to a yogurt, or a salad,” said the expert. He also explained that athletes need a greater protein intake: if a sedentary person needs approximately 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body mass, an athlete would need 1.3 grams, and could even reach both. In the case of fats, the doctor commented that they should be monosaturated, as well as their consumption should be controlled.
He also stressed the importance of two minerals for elite athletes: calcium and iron. The first is relevant since, according to the doctor, women athletes are more likely to have anemia, as it is essential to maintain the level during menstruation. Finally, the doctor commented on the value of good hydration: “You must maintain a good level with water and drinks for athletes, because you sweat a lot and lose a lot of calcium.”
All this “theory” is applied in his daily life Vicky Losada. “Since I changed my diet, I have had easier to gain muscle and I recover better after physical exercise,” said the footballer.
The daily menu
The athlete reported how her daily diet is: «At breakfast time I do not usually take a lot of food, but I choose them with greater nutritional value,» Losada explained, and continued: «for example, I eat a protein yogurt, with oatmeal and some pistachios, and a coffee ».
To eat, the soccer player commented that vegetables always fill 50% of her plate. Also, usually add hydrates with options such as quinoa or buckwheat, and proteins with foods such as chicken or salmon.
Finally, Vicky Losada explained that, especially when the team has a trip, they always try to eat every three hours, as well as reminding the importance of a good sleep habit for athletes of their caliber.
Food Endocrinology Dietetics Women’s football Sports