Fat in a Sports Nutrition Plan Impacts Sports Performance and Lifetime Fitness

Fat should be considered in your sports nutrition plan. This is a substance in food that provides energy, especially for muscular fuel. Most of us have plenty of this stored fuel, but a body storage level that is too low could impair your performance in endurance activities. A diet with too little or too much of this fuel could impact your sports performance and lifetime fitness. Related lifetime fitness factors include heart disease, obesity and heartburn.

  • Am I eating this fuel in my daily intake?

  • Foods with a higher content are certain meats and milk, nuts and seeds, oils, spreads and dressings, and processed foods, as well as certain nutrition bars. Check the labels of sports nutrition supplements, also.

  • I thought these calories were bad for me. What is the truth?
    Your exercising body needs this energy source. If you are in heavy training and can’t keep your calorie intake up, this fuel can provide many calories in small doses. On the other hand, too much can provide too many calories. So balance this fuel source with your weight and calorie goals. Another form known as omega-3 fatty acids can offer some health protection. Choosing whole foods is the healthiest way to go.

  • Am I eating the right type?

  • Plant sources, like oils are the healthier types. Animal sources (meat, cheese) can be eaten, but in lesser amounts. Ideally, eat this fuel within foods that provide nutrition (whole foods), rather than highly processed foods. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fat, typically found in packaged and restaurant foods. The daily goal for trans fats is ZERO!

    Registered Dietitian Jan Dowell discusses trans fats.

  • Can my intake impact my sports performance?

  • Eating too much fat before or during a session can leave you with an uncomfortable full feeling. It is better to eat this fuel after an event. Also, eat within your calorie goals. There is no magic form of this fuel that will help you during a training session or event, but eating healthy types for lifetime fitness will enhance your overall health, keeping you on top of your game.

  • Is my body fat level the best for sports performance?

  • Too much stored fuel can slow you down and lessen your efficiency. Too little minimizes the storage level that the trained body depends on in endurance events. The right amount of fuel storage helps you meet your potential for movement and fuel needs. Consistent training at a steady pace helps the body maintain the right balance of fat stores and carb stores in your muscles.

    Get more details on fat sources here.

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