Having a balanced diet provides your body with the right amount of nutrients without any excess or deficiency. There are 6 key components…
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and are generally classified according to their structure and digestibility. Carbohydrates provide energy for the body’s activities and are obtained from grains, cereals, bread, rice, pasta, fruits, vegetables, pulses, dairy products and sugars. Fibre also forms part of the carbohydrate group. These are your body’s main source of energy as it provides slow release energy. These will help your body when training for long periods of time such as a full football match or marathon. It is recommended you have around 300g a day.
Fats: Fats are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and their main roles include providing the body with insulation (helping to maintain a constant temperature), participating in the production of hormones and absorption of vitamins, and as an important source of energy for the body. The main dietary sources of fat include meat, fish, dairy products, oils and fats used for cooking. Fats are a secondary source of energy and are used by your body in longer periods of exercise for example a marathon when your body has used all of your carbohydrate stores.
Protein: Like fats and carbohydrates, proteins are complex compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen but they also include nitrogen as part of their main composition. Proteins give structure to the cells of the body and are important for cell growth, repair and maintenance. They are in every type of tissue in the body including bones, skin, muscle and organs. Good sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, pulses, grains, nuts and seeds. It is recommended men have around 56g per day and women 46g. Proteins are needed in sport for growth and repair and help prevent injury.
Vitamins: Vitamins are