how does junk food affect athletes

Can Athletes Eat Junk Food? 

Athletes Junk Food

Can athletes eat ice cream? Or maybe cakes? Junk food? Athletes are often seen as the perfect example of physically fit individuals who follow a proper diet. They are known to follow a strict diet is to keep up with the training. They tend to eat healthy food so that they can perform at the highest level.

Does that mean they never indulge in junk food? Or should they entirely keep away from junk food? It is true that even fit individuals do consume junk food. Yes! You heard it right! You can still lose weight while you eat junk food by keeping track of your calorie consumption and also by fulfilling the required fatty acids & protein consumption for your body. But ensure you don’t make junk food as the majority of your diet even though you meet your calorie requirements.

So why do athletes intake junk food? It may provide them with more calories than normal & clean meals do not. They may need more calories than others because they tend to have a faster metabolism due to their increased muscle mass and also they burn more energy during their physical training every day.

Clean food may contain fewer calories when compared to processed meals. According to research, it is observed that children who participate in sports tend to consume more junk food than those who do not.

How Does Junk Food Affect Athletes?

It is only healthy eating habits that will enhance both the health & performance of an athlete while poor eating habits may jeopardize the performance. Eating excess junk food may lead to serious ailments like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

How Often Do Athletes Eat Junk Food?

Even athletes have their cheat days and it will not alter or affect their athletic capabilities. Though they may follow a clean diet the whole week, they may have a day where they intake junk food while maintaining their regular exercise. Anything in moderation should be fine. It is suggested to avoid eating junk food during the nighttime. Instead, it can be consumed during the day.

Foods Athletes Should Eat

Proper nutrition is very crucial for athletes as their bodies may face high levels of stress. Athletes need to concentrate on five major food groups to achieve proper nutrition – vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy.

  • Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and water that serve as hydration, digestion, energy, recovery, and injury prevention.
  • Grains are rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fiber which contribute to recovery and high-intensity activity.
  • Lean animal proteins like fish and meat should be prioritized in the diet.
  • The dairy food group is packed with carbohydrates, calcium, potassium, and proteins. It helps for muscle contraction/recovery, energy production, and bone strength. So should athletes eat cheese? Athletes should consume 2-3 cups of low-fat dairy or alternatives in the form of cheese, yogurt, cow’s milk, etc.

Read Here: What Is Healthy Breakfast In India?

Foods athletes should avoid consuming immediately before a competition, We have listed Below Foods Athletes Should Not Eat Before A Competition:

  • Avoid high-fat foods such as French fries, potato chips, hotdogs, doughnuts, and candy bars. These food items tend to take a longer time to digest and may cause discomfort in the stomach. Also, these kinds of food items will not give the required energy during the competition.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages like soda as they cause discomfort in the stomach during the competition.
  • Avoid high-fiber foods as they tend to cause gas and may upset the stomach during the competition.

Read Here: Are Sports Drinks Bad For You?



Is it OK to eat junk food if you exercise?

Anything if eaten in moderation is ok! You can eat junk food once in a while provided you exercise. But mostly try avoiding unhealthy junk food.

Do athletes eat a lot of junk food?

Most athletes avoid eating a lot of junk food. They concentrate on proper intake of nutrition for gaining energy levels. They may rarely eat junk food while maintaining proper exercise.

Why can’t athletes eat junk food?

Eating junk food may lead to some illnesses and may also create discomfort in the stomach. This can intervene in the performance of the athlete.

What foods are bad for athletes?

High-fat foods, carbonated beverages, high-fiber foods are not recommended and considered bad for athletes.




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