Gymnastics is an incredibly thrilling and taxing sport, filled with many complex movements which take a long time to complete.
It should then make sense that you have to compensate for this by eating good food which gives you the energy that helps you to come back and do it again.
The sport is described as an 'anaerobic' sport which means it requires short, intense bursts of energy and activity, unlike many other sports such as swimming, long distance running or rowing which themselves require endurance.
Gymnasts need to eat more carbohydrates and protein to ensure that they have easier access to the energy they need, and avoid foods high in fat.
Young gymnasts need foods high in protein as this part of food helps to repair and strengthen damaged muscle from training. Microscopic tears form in the muscle during training, due to the pressures they go through and so adequate protein should be consumed within two hours of training, but the quicker this is done, the better.
Carbohydrates are a large source of energy for anaerobic athletes such as gymnasts, to control the level of sugar in their blood stream they require complex forms of carbohydrates such as bread, providing sustained energy. After exercising your glycogen levels can become depleted and so small snacks such as fruit are often useful before, during or after training or competitions.
Fats are very useful as long-term fuel sources. The best source of fat is known as mono-unsaturated fats, these can come from nuts, olives, fatty fish, coconut oil or other sources. Subcutaneous fat, a fancy word meaning fat under your skin, can protect your internal organs, insulate the body and reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the bloodstream; which are can help solve future issues such as heart attacks and strokes before they become an issue.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS
As many gymnasts are young there is a lot of conflicting research about what you should give them, in an effort to not affect their growth and development. However, many sources agree that a multivitamin and a calcium supplement are helpful to the gymnast. The multivitamin helps keep them on top of their health whereas the calcium supplement will help prevent stress fractures, a common issue in training.
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