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Nutrition and the energy-balanced diet

Nutrition For Runners

Your body needs a certain amount of energy per day.

Your body needs a certain amount of energy per day. That amount depends on your weight, the type of activities you undertake during the day, the amount of muscle you have and how fit you are.

Healthy eating is a balanced diet ,of carbohydrates, protein and fats.

Energy is measured in kcal and is obtained from the body stores or the food you eat. Glycogen is the main source of fuel used by the muscles to enable you to undertake exercise.

If you train with low glycogen stores you will feel constantly tired, training performance will be lower and you will be more prone to injury and illness.

One calorie (cal) is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1g of water 1C, from say 11 to 12C. One kcal is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1000g of water 1C.

Nutrient Balance

Carefully planned nutrition must provide an energy balance diet. The nutrients you need for a balanced diet are:

Proteins Essential for growth and repair of muscle and other body tissues.
Fats One source of energy and important in relation to fat soluble vitamins.
Carbohydrates Our main source of energy.
Minerals Those inorganic elements occurring in the body and which are critical to its normal functions.
Vitamins Water and fat soluble vitamins play important roles in many chemical processes in the body.
Water Essential to normal body function as a vehicle for carrying other nutrients and because 60% of the human body is water.
Roughage The fibrous indigestible portion of our diet essential to health of the digestive system.


The daily energy requirements?

The basic energy requirements
An athlete weighing 50Kg will require about 1,560 kcal/day.

From this you can calculate the energy requirements for an athlete of any weight. So, an athlete weighing 63Kg will require 31.2 Kcal x 63Kg = 1,965Kcal/day.
Extra energy requirements for activities undertaken during the day.
An athlete weighing 50kg, training for 1 hour a day will require an additional 425 kcal.

An athlete weighing 50Kg who trains for one hour will require a total daily intake of about 1,985 kcal (1560 + 425)

It must be noted that different activities burn calories at different rates.

Running burns off more calories than any other sport - about 125kcal per mile - unless you count running up your own stairs! Although this is hardly a sport, the calories you would burn would be much more than ANY sporting activity!

Healthy tips for runners

A balanced diet is essential.

A balanced diet is essential. The balance we need is as follows:

57% Carbohydrates (sugar, sweets, bread, cakes)
30% Fats (dairy products, oil)
13% Protein (eggs, milk, meat, poultry, fish)


What does a 50 kg athlete require in terms of carbohydrates, fats and protein?

Carbohydrates 57% of 1985 = 1131 kcal.  At 4 kcal per gram = 1131 4 = 282 grams
Fats 30% of 1985 = 595 kcal.    At 9 kcal per gram = 595 9  = 66 grams
Protein 13% of 1985 = 258 kcal.    At 4 kcal per gram = 258 4  = 64 grams
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