Diet Menu for Athletes

To get a fit body, you need to have good metabolism, which can be achieved by keeping your body active. This is the general equation for common person. However, for those who indulge in a great deal of physical activity like athletes, it is important that they eat less and get more energy. They cannot afford to have those heavy and really filling meals. Also, they cannot compromise on the essential nutrients and the energy which they need. Striking a balance between all the essential nutrients and carbohydrates, then becomes really difficult.

Nutritional and Healthy Menu for Runners and Athletes

It goes without saying that the diet for an athlete/runner must provide him/her with enough energy. The core of fitness and nutrition for these people is the same all across the globe.

Essential Intake

-Drinking Water
-Focus on complex carbohydrates
-Protein intake ranging from moderate to high
-High or moderate fiber
-Other essential nutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Of course, the diet is not restricted to just the aforementioned aspects, however, these are the fundamentals of an athlete’s diet. There are different aspects of the activity levels and energy required.

Diet for that Explosive Strength
Sustained energy is not needed for sprinters, triathlon athletes, and jumpers. They need not rack their brains about prolonged and slow-digesting carbohydrates. So, athletes who are into explosive activity, need the energy at a particular time only and not throughout a long period of time. In such cases, creatine-rich foods should be included in the diet. It immediately boosts the depot of instant energy in the muscle.

Diet Menu for Recovery
Recovery time after exercising is very crucial. Nutrition for athletes should be chalked out keeping this factor in mind. Eating within two hours after the workout is crucial for an athlete, as his/her muscles need to recover, and glycogen needs to be restored. Eating within first 30 minutes is even better. A correct balance should be maintained between the protein and carbohydrates in the diet. The carbohydrates to protein ratio in a meal should be 3:1. 30 – 90 grams of high quality complex carbohydrates and 10 – 30 grams of protein should be included in the diet. Ideally, whey isolate is perfect for ensuring a speedy recovery of the muscles.

Sample Menu


1 orange
1 boiled egg
1 oz./ 30 g wholemeal bread
2 tsp. low-fat spread


3 oz./90 g tuna fish
Salad of lettuce, onions and 1 tomato
2 celery sticks
1 oz./ 30 g beetroot
2 tsp. salad cream
2 crisp bread slices
1 apple


3 oz./ 90 g chicken without skin cook in casserole
3 oz./90 g carrots
4 oz./120 g onions
2 oz./60 g parsnips
3 oz./90 g turnips
3 oz./90 g jacket potato
4 oz./120 g cooked green vegetable
1 pear

This was just an example, as to how the menu for an athlete should be. However, it can be modified according to personal requirements. It needs a conscious effort to chalk out a diet plan, as per the requirements of an athlete. It can be best managed by an athlete himself. Nevertheless, a brief description about what an athletes diet should be, is described here.

-65% complex carbohydrates including vegetables, fruits, and grains either raw or cooked
-10 to 15% fat from vegetables
-10% protein through meats or fish or fowl or lamb
-Vitamins, minerals, and oxygen-enhancing nutrients, which include a formula containing potassium, magnesium, alpha ketoglutarate, inosine, malic acid, ferulic acid, trimethylglycine, and coenzyme Q10, can be consumed before a sports event.
-Vitamin C with bioflavonoids
-600 mg calcium and 400 mg magnesium
-Zinc and vitamin A approximately 30 mg per day
-2 cod liver oil capsules in a day

Last, but not the least, processed food should be strictly avoided. Also, fruits, nuts, and vegetables should be included in every meal of the day.