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6.3.2. Optimizing athletes’ performance through nutrition.

6.3.2.Reading comprehension. Optimizing athletes’ performance through nutrition. 

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A balanced diet requires carbohydrates, proteins and micronutrients. Carbohydrates are necessary for glycogen replacement, proteins build and repair tissues, and micronutrients maintain body homeostasis.  

Experts recommend carbohydrates as a source of energy for athletes because the body changes carbohydrates to glucose and then the body stores it in the muscles as glycogen. When athletes start exercising, the body changes glycogen into energy. Without glycogen athletes will tire out sooner and they might have to use the body’s protein stores for energy. 

When the level of carbohydrates decreases the body starts using fats and turns them into energy.  Recommended fat sources for athletes are nuts, olives, avocados and fatty fish like tuna.

Athletes also need protein to maintain their muscles. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs or milk are great protein sources. In addition, milk contains calcium, which is important in keeping the bones strong.

Athletes also need vitamins and minerals because they are needed in the metabolic processes, oxygen transfer and tissue repair related to physical exercise. 

Athletes lose a lot of fluids through sweating. They lose not only water, but electrolytes as well. Electrolytes are important because they transmit nerve signal in the body.  That is why drinking enough water or sports drinks are important for sportspeople. 

Mark the statements with C for carbohydrates, F for fats and P for proteins.

They are important in building muscles.

They provide glucose that is stored in the muscles as glycogen.

Tuna and nuts are good sources.

When their level decreases, the body produces energy from fats.

You can find them in milk or eggs.

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