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Health and nutrition for sports performance

By Sergi Cedrún & Dani Ariño, IHF Referee Fitness Coordinators

A nutritious diet is one that meets all of the body’s macro- and micronutrient demands on a daily basis. Nutrient intakes are based on individual factors, including a person’s size and activity level, the types of activities performed, genetic predisposition, culture and religion. Additionally, an individual’s diet should reflect adequate food variety for nutrient balance, be palatable while meeting the daily demands of stress placed on the body, and contribute to a healthy life.

Nutrition for sport performance goes one step further. When the body is placed under excessive strain as a result of training at competitive levels, the demand for nutrients surpasses that of normal homeostasis, that is, the natural state of balance within the body with all systems functioning properly.

Sports are as diverse as the individuals who play them. Some are high-powered, such as handball, football, and hockey, requiring large amounts of work, rapid movements, and significant force management; whereas others are more endurance-based, such as cross-country running and triathlon training, which require sustained lower force outputs for longer durations.

The nutrition needs of each player or participant are specific to the demands of the sport. The principle of specificity used for programming exercise and sport conditioning drills suggests that the physiological adaptations to the activity are specific to the demand. Similarly, the nutrient needs of an athlete are specific to the physiological demands of his or her sport.

A good diet along with a good physical preparation as well as a good resting and sleeping routine will allow your physical condition to be optimal to face the days during competition seasons and will keep you in good health all year.

You can download the IHF information on health and nutrition below.

Health and nutrition for sports performance PDF Files

Healthy Nutrition

Nutrition for Performance