Food is the decisive factor, when it comes to the performance in a sports activity. Even if you strictly follow a diet plan, the food that you eat just before and after your performance can affect your physical as well as your mental health. Eating the right quantity of food is another thing to consider, because you would not want to upset your stomach or keep it empty. To have complete focus on the game, you should know what to eat and what not to eat. To guide yourself on what to eat and what not to better, you will have to gauge the effects of your exercise or sports, their duration, and type. If the sport or exercise is high-endurance, you may have to depend on a largely carbohydrate diet and eliminate other foods from the list. However, if the sport or exercise is very light, you can have a balanced diet with moderate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and vitamins. What you truly have to understand is, whatever the diet, there are a few foods that should be eliminated for all sports and exercise activities. For more interesting facts on foods that help peak athletic performance, scroll down and continue to read.
Foods Not To Eat For Sports
Sugary foods, such as cakes, pastries, pudding, ice creams, sweets, biscuits etc., should be avoided before sports or the performance of a high-endurance activity, because they can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, which may, in turn, lead to fatigue. Foods rich in sugar also cause flatulence, leading to stomach bloating, puffiness and finally, the development of gas or indigestion.
The effect of caffeine varies from person to person. Some people may feel that it gives more energy to perform the sports activity, while others may get nervous and find it hard to concentrate after the consumption of drinks containing caffeine. Moreover, the intake of beverages such as tea and coffee can cause dehydration. Side effects such as nausea and headache are also associated with the consumption of drinks containing caffeine. Caffeine is also known to be a diuretic which means that it can cause the reduction of bodily fluids and can also affect the fluid balance of the body. Caffeine may be an energy booster but it is said to have negative, drastic effects on the body if had in large amounts.
Since fried foods are loaded with oil, the body takes a long time to digest the fats present in it. You may feel drowsy and may not be able to concentrate on any activity, because fried food makes the stomach heavy. Hence, the consumption of fried food should be avoided before any rigorous activity.
Avoid fatty foods such as meat (especially red meat) and meat products such as sausages, burgers and ham and dressings such as mayonnaise, creamy sauces and salad cream. Avoid drinking full cream milk before playing a sport. These foods take a long time to digest and break down in the body. These usually come in the form of fried, fast food or baked food and take a long time to get excreted. Therefore, it is mandatory to lessen or omit the consumption of fatty food before a high endurance exercise or sport. If however, you think or feel that eating or consuming fatty foods is a must, then you can opt for foods like yogurt, whole wheat bread, bagels, energy bars, etc which are higher in carbohydrates and comparatively lesser in fat content.
Fiber Rich Food
High fiber foods are a strict 'no-no'. Fibrous foods are extremely hard to break down and need time to digest before they can get absorbed into the body's system. If fibrous food is consumed before a sport or exercise, it could lead to stomach or muscle cramps hindering your performance. Foods that are high in fiber content come in the form of fruits and vegetables that come with peels as is the case with apples, beans, lentils, apricots and prunes. These should be strictly avoided or at least peeled before consumption. They can also be replaced with a high intake of carbohydrate or protein.
Apart from being sugary, fizzy drinks can lead to gastric problems when consumed before or after engaging in any kind of sports activity. Therefore, it is a strict no-no for sportspersons. Fizzy drinks can lead to acidity problems and indigestion. It can also account for a sharp increase in insulin, followed by a drastic drop in sugar levels post exercise.
The last thing anyone would want is a bad stomach or a game with low individual productivity. It is necessary to gauge the body type and also the sport or exercise before deciding on what to strike out from the list. What people don't understand is 'timing'. With the right timing, these foods might just end up boosting your health rather than ruining your performance. However, these are the basic pre-exercise dietary 'no-no's' that should be adhered to, under all circumstances.