As an athlete you need to get your basic diet right before you begin to work on your training and competition diet.

You as an athlete should eat a wide variety from each of the food groups to ensure you get the nutrients your body needs. In doing this you will also have interesting and satisfying meals.

Food group Minimum
serves each day
Example of a
serving size
Good source of:
Breads and cereals eat at least 6 servings 1 roll carohydrate
1 muffin fibre
1 medium slice bread B vitamins (except B12)
1 cup breakfast cereal vitamin E
1/2 cup oatmeal calcium
1 cup cooked rice or pasta iron
2 plain cookies zinc

 

Food group Minimum
serves each day
Example of a
serving size
Good source of:
Fruit and vegetables eat at least of 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables 1 medium fruit (eg: apple, orange, pear, peach, banana) carohydrate
fibre
2 small fruit (eg: plums) vitamin A
1 cup fruit juice vitamin C (dried fruit are not as good a source of vit C as raw fruit)
1/4 cup dried fruit (eg: raisins, apricots)
1/2 cup raw, cooked or canned fruit or veges folate
magnesium
1 medium cooked potato or kumara potassium

 

Food group Minimum
serves each day
Example of a
serving size
Good source of:
Milk, milk products and milk substitutes have at least 2 servings 1 glass milk protein
1 pot of yoghurt calcium
2 slices cheese carbohydrate (milk and yoghurt)
2 scoops ice cream
3 tablespoons cottage cheese vitamins, especially B2 and B12
1 glass soy milk other minerals

 

Food group Minimum
serves each day
Example of a
serving size
Good source of:
Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, pulses eat at least 1 serve 2 slices cooked meat protein
3/4 cup mince or stew iron
1 medium steak fat (saturated)
2 drumsticks or 1 chicken leg carbohydrate (dried beans/peas)
1 medium fillet fish
1 egg vitamins B1, B12, niacin
1/3 cup nuts or seeds minerals – zinc, copper
3/4 cup cooked dried beans magnesium, potassium
1/2 cup tofu selenium

 

Food group Minimum
serves each day
Example of a
serving size
Good source of:
Fluids drink at least 8 cups water or other fluids

 

Are you meeting your basic nutritional requirements?

 

Rule up a chart under the headings;

  • Breads and cereal (recommended serves – 6) 
  • Vegetables and fruits (recommended serves – 2 fruit & 3 vege) 
  • Milk, dairy products and milk substitutes (recommended serves – 2) 
  • Meat and meat substitutes (recommended serves – 1) 
  • Fluids (recommended serves – 8 cups) 

Record what you eat for a day in the food groups. Tally the number of serves you had from each food group and compare with the recommended serves.

 

If you have not met the recommended servings you need to begin by trying to meet these basic diet requirements. Supplements are not the answer! Often when athletes reach for supplements they choose supplements that are not appropriate for their needs anyway. Athletes sometimes forget that the goodness they try to get from supplements has been scientifically proven to be of most benefit when found in its natural form in food.

 

Write down one goal that you will work on over the next week to improve your baseline nutrition. For example: ‘My goal this week is to increase my daily servings of vegetables from one to three.’

 

Write down your ideas for a meal plan that will enable to you meet your nutritional goals.