Gymnastic is the sport in which the person should be require balancing, strengthening and flexibility for the exercises. The exercise for the gymnastic involves the various part of the body which includes arms, legs, chest, shoulder, back and abdominal muscles. Along with regular exercise, Essential Nutrition for Gymnasts also required to Get More strength and stamina.
So for proper balancing which required by the gymnast along with the balancing and concentration, they require nutrition for their body development.
Gymnastic is being practiced since the ancient times which include mounting and dismounting a horse and all the circus performing skills. Although the body of every individual differs from person to person so the requirement for the nutrition for their development also differs.
If the gymnast doesn’t consume proper nutrition per day, then the gymnast may suffer from many diseases like osteoporosis, weakness of bones and fractures.
Essential Nutrition and Power Training for Gymnasts.
Training of a gymnastic is all depended upon the level of the athlete but if you are a competitive gymnast than the training load gets harder. They get trained at least three times per week for a round of three hours per session.
While the elite gymnastics sessions are not much harder, they get trained for 30 hours per week which includes their morning as well as evening sessions. During the training period, they are not only physically getting trained but also their skill development; balancing, flexibility and strength are also trained.
Gymnast starts their regular training with a warm-up of at least one hour for the elite gymnast and the time increases for the competitive gymnast for three hours and this also includes their skill practices.
For the gymnastic body, both male and female should have a low percentage of body fat in them and should have high muscularity. The advantage for this type of body gives the gymnast a physical power which includes better mechanical efficiency to lift up more weight and for performing more acrobatic moves.
So for those who are interested and wants to go for the gymnastic there, training gets to start from a young age.
For elite gymnast for female, they are trained and get ready before they attain their puberty and are trained for international gymnastics. For females, the minimum age requirement for an international gymnast is sixteen years old. While for male gymnast get ready when they reach in their twenties when their muscle mass become peak.
Let’s See Some Essential Nutrition for Gymnasts.
As the gymnast work hard for during their training period, which may result in the torn of muscles in the body. For the repairing of those torn muscles, a gymnast needs to take protein in their diet. Although the metabolic activity in them is also very high which in turn burn their calorie which they had taken during the day.
Small tear in the muscles is during their training for the gymnastic is common, which can be healed by adequate intake of protein diet after an hour of their workout. Protein is also needed by the gymnast day after the workout when the body is repairing the strengthening the muscles.
Foods which are a good source for the protein are:-
- Lean pork
- For vegetarian- tofu and beans
Carbohydrates provide the energy to the body and hence also known as a storage house of energy. It is required during the training as it provides quick and short term energy. It also helps in building up the body muscles.
Some of the carbohydrates are slow digesting and hence it provides the energy and the power throughout the training routine and competition to the gymnast.
Carbohydrate is also needed in the body to control the blood sugar in the blood. For this, the gymnasts require to eat complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread, pasta, and some vegetables. This will give the slow energy during the training.
We all know that the energy released from the carbohydrate is in the form of glycogen and this glycogen is stored in the muscles of the body. So whenever the gymnasts do exercises during training, the glycogens from the muscles get released and provide energy. Now to replenish the stored glycogen you need to eat carbohydrates.
While doing the vigorous exercise, the subcutaneous fat which is present under the skin protects the internal organs from getting injured and also protect from the cold.
The good sources for the carbohydrate are:-
- Wheat pasta
- Other whole-grain cereals
- Whole grain bread
- Brown rice
- Olive oil
- Fatty fish
Some of the gymnasts do not prefer to eat things which contain fat as they have to maintain their body. But with protein and carbohydrate, it is also very essential to have fat in the body. They assume that if they eat fat they will get fatty.
It is not true; eating dietary fat produces cushions in their joints which help the gymnast during heavyweight pulling. Fat also helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in the body and also provides the cushions to the internal organ and prevent from getting injured.
Gymnasts should eat healthy fats which are good for their bodies. These are:-
- Olive oil
- Flaxseed and chia seed
- Fatty fish (salmon)
Which snacks should the gymnast prefer?
Gymnasts should carry their snacks with them. It is because during their training period if they feel hungry, they can eat snacks that can provide the energy for further sessions.
They can carry snacks like:-
- High protein bars
- Multigrain snack bars
- Vegetables like chopped carrot and celery
- Reduced-fat yogurt
Essential Supplements for gymnast
Today most of the young generation is taking part in gymnastics. So they need more for the development and growth of their body. As there body demand is more, so they are choosing the supplements to fulfill the demands of the growing body. But there is not enough research done to know the role of supplements for the growth and development in the body.
Still, if the gymnasts want to have supplements they can go with two supplements- a multivitamin and a calcium supplement.
For multivitamin, it contains 14 vitamins and 19 minerals which are needed to the body for their growth and development.
While calcium supplement is essential for making their bone strong and healthy. Along with this calcium intake also prevents the gymnast from getting fracture during the activities which are quite common in the gymnast.
But don’t forget to take the dietary calcium from the dairy product which a good source for calcium which they need. But due to the fear of getting fat, they avoid taking which is very wrong.
Fluid intake for gymnast
It is very important to maintain the fluid intake for the gymnast so as to prevent from getting dehydration. As the body of gymnast needs to drinks a lot of water otherwise dehydration can produce harm to their body.
To overcome with the dehydration water is enough to fulfill the fluid requirement of the body. They can even have a sports drink, especially in hot weather as it provides fluid to the body and also the carbohydrate for their muscles and have some electrolyte to prevent dehydration.
But excess of drinking sports drink is harmful to the body.
How to get the exact weight gymnast needed?
More emphasis is given on the weight of the gymnast. They are being watched continuously for their weight and if it gets more from the needed they have been criticized for it.
This has been seen in the young girl athletes, some of them have eating disorders for which they put on weight. The young girls who participate in gymnast are being encouraged to remain lean, as due to their lean body they can go with amazing tricks during the activities on the floor, even on bars and beams.
For getting a lean body their diet should include:-
- In breakfast, they should include a small number of egg whites
- Small piece of chicken in their lunch
- In snacks, they can include snacks of vegetable and cheese
- For dinner, they can include fruits and fish.
How many calories should be taken by gymnast?
How many calories should be taken by the gymnast in order to maintain their weight? To calculate how much calories should be taken daily by the gymnast should multiply the weight of the gymnast with 15. So if the weight of gymnast is about 250 pounds, then it should be multiplied by 15 to get the calorie that is 3750 calories per day.
If the gymnast needs to gain weight about one pound per week than the gymnast has to calculate the weight and multiplies with 15 and have to add 250-500 calories to the total calculation.
If the gymnast needs to lose the weight about one pound per week than to the total weight which is multiplied by 15 and subtract 250-500 from the total calculation.
It is very crucial to maintain the proper weight for the gymnast.
Before the competition what should gymnast eat?
Before going to the competition the gymnast should eat the food which can be easily digestible before going to the competition so as the gymnast should not have any gastrointestinal upset during fast movements or any turn and flips.
So before warm-up about two hours before, the gymnast should eat anything light so that it can boosts up the energy level before going to the competition.
The chosen food should be rich in carbohydrates and low in fat and fibers.
Gymnast can include the food before competitions are:-
- Fresh fruit + small tub of yogurt
- Breakfast cereal with milk or yogurt
- Toast with peanut butter or banana
- A small serve of pasta or rice dish
- Wrap or sandwich with light fillings
For the nervous gymnast before appearing to the competition, they should go with liquid-based carbohydrates like flavored milk and smoothies.
During competition what should gymnasts eat?
Sometimes competition timing gets overlapped with the timing of one or two meals. During this time some extra food should be kept and given so as to maintain the energy level and concentration.
Gymnast can go with yogurt, light sandwich, and fruits. These are the ideal snack and it maintains the energy level and gives more mental stamina. Even gymnast can go with a sports drink as it can provide both carbohydrate and fluid to the gymnast during competition.
High-fat foods should be avoided during the competition as it is not easily digestible and can produce stomach upset to the gymnast during their active movements.
For a gymnast, they should work with accredited sports dietician so as to know the nutrition strategies which can be best for the gymnast during training and that be best for each gymnast individual.
How to recover nutrition after the competition?
To recover the nutrition three rules should be followed:-
- To rehydrate the body with fluid
- To repair muscles for normal function and development
- To replace muscle glycogen
So after the gymnastic make it ensures that the gymnast should take their recovery meal and it should be eaten as soon as the body of the gymnast becomes cool so the repairmen of the normal function start and it reduces the fatigue and stress from the body.
After completing the competition gymnast should also start with carbohydrates and protein for the recovery process. It should include;-
- Homemade pita bread pizzas with veggie toppings
- Crackers with cheese or nut butter
- Yogurt with nuts
- Chicken and salad sandwich or wrap
- Beef and veggie stir-fry with rice or noodles
For replacing the fluid loss the gymnast should drink enough water as water is a good source. While gymnast can also take flavored milk which contains protein and carbohydrates. Drinks that contain electrolyte can also be useful for fluid replacement.
Today as many young generations are taking part in the gymnastic, so they have to take care of their body with their eating habits. Females are also taking an equal interest in gymnastic with males but with females, their health issues come in front of them. This is seen when the females are in their menstrual phase.
At that time they should consult with the sports physician and sports dietician. Any menstrual disorder like excess of bleeding, absence of menstruation, severe pain during menstruation should be treated at the time without any delay of time.
Along with the macronutrient, the gymnast should take micronutrient as well like iron and calcium. If these micronutrients are avoided the gymnast can have other diseases due to deficiency.
So it is an advice to the gymnasts that don’t do or eat anything which can cause any serious problem to them before the competition. Go with the regular body checkup for your health and remain in contact with a sports physician and sports dietician.
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