Have you ever of heard of gymnastics food?
According to Sports Dietitians Australia there are specific foods and snacks that benefit gymnasts, which include a selection of lean proteins for muscle repair and recovery, as well as carbohydrates, calcium and vitamins and minerals.
A healthy diet is the key to ensuring your body is energised and your mind maintains focus and concentration during your training session.
Here are 5 nutrient-rich foods and snacks dietitians recommend that you should eat, whether it’s in the car on the way to training or during the day at school.
Yoghurt is one of the best foods you can eat as an athlete!
It’s high in protein for workout recovery, optimises bone strength through its calcium and promotes digestion and gut health by containing ‘good bacteria’ probiotics.
- The vitamin D found in the creamy snack also aids calcium absorption.
- Greek Yoghurt is a great option, you can eat it as a snack, dollop some into a smoothie or even have it with muesli.
- Plus, Women’s AFL player Katie Brennan, Olympic rower Chris Morgan and Australian tennis player Lizette Cabrera have all claimed it is their FAVOURTIE food.
Whether it’s munching on fruit toast or fruit muffins, if you’re a gymnast you should be eating PLENTY of fruit!
But there are some fruits particularly beneficial for gymnasts flipping and flying through the air at training:
Did you know that intense exercise and perspiration causes a reduction in your potassium levels? If your body is low in potassium, this can cause muscle weakness and fatigue. Fortunately, bananas are here to save the day! Not only are they top sources of potassium, but they also have great amounts of carbohydrates, fuelling your body and muscles.
An optimum source of vitamin C, oranges help reduce bodily inflammation and they also contain plentiful amounts of carbohydrates and water, lowering your risk for fatigue and dehydration after exercise!
Another vitamin C-rich food, strawberries help prevent bruising, by enhancing iron and folate absorption. They are also help maintain ample energy levels in between meals.
Milk or Smoothie
Are you a sports-drink lover? If you’re quick to down a bottle of Gatorade, listen to this:
- Milk and flavoured milk are just as effective if not more effective, than store-bought sports drinks when it comes to exercise recovery and rehydration.
- The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend 2.5–4 serves from the dairy food group per day.
Did you know? Protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water are all contained in this beverage and are rapidly absorbed and metabolized by the body to produce energy and replenish nutrients during physical activity.
Better yet why not combine your milk with fruit and yogurt in a smoothie?
While they might seem boring, healthy sandwiches are an easy way to keep your gymnast going!
Stuck for ideas or want to spice your lunchbox up? Here are two delicious and nutritious sandwich options:
- For savory lovers- Roast chicken (no skin), cucumber, lettuce and avocado
- For a sweet treat- Banana, honey and sultanas
Why not try these funky fillings in wholemeal and wholegrain bread? Chicken is known as one of the best foods for growing athletes, containing heaps of amino acids! Let’s not forget bananas, as well as sultanas, have great amounts of potassium.
Wholegrain crackers with cheese or tuna
Looking for a healthy afternoon snack? Here’s a great one if you’re in need of a quick bite to eat before training.
Cheese and crackers are not only yum – they are super beneficial! With high levels of protein and calcium in cheese, athletes can benefit from stronger bones and muscle mass.
If you want to mix it up, tuna – a natural source of Omega 3, contains vitamin B which increases energy levels…high energy levels are a must at gymnastics, that’s for sure!