The information provided on this page is aimed at healthcare professionals and affiliated audiences. Please seek advice from your medical professional before making dietary changes.
Tips for sportspeople
1. Home-made natural sports drink
Athletes actively training and competing lose water and electrolytes by sweating and expending energy. Because of its specific composition, and in particular its sugar and mineral profile, 100% orange juice is well-suited for making an isotonic sports drink. For four portions, take 500 ml of 100% orange juice and dilute with 500 ml water. Just add 1.5 g (a pinch) of salt (NaCl), to make an isotonic sports drink.
2. A good start to the day
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even more so for sportspeople. There is often a lengthy period of around 12 hours between an evening meal and breakfast the following morning, so breakfast is a very important time to refuel energy. Breakfast should provide around 25% of the total daily energy intake. People who find it difficult to eat a nutritious breakfast (either due to lack of hunger or time) might find that including 100% fruit juice in their breakfast alongside other foods is a convenient way increase nutrients and contribute to their fruit and vegetable consumption right from the start of the day.
3. Back to basics
Sportspeople can benefit hugely from a healthy diet. They may have increased energy and fluid needs, due to extra physical activity, so a healthy balanced diet must be their priority. A healthy diet contains, nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice) and among others at least 400 g (5 portions) of fruits and vegetables a day. A glass of 100% fruit juice is considered in most countries to equal one portion of fruit and can help to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.
4. Energy boost before training
In order to complete training, sportspeople need to make sure their body has enough energy stored to start with. Eating healthy high-fibre meals with fruits and vegetables, while advisable generally, may cause digestive problems during exercise. 100% orange juice contains carbohydrates and is a rich source of vitamin C. It is also a source of folate; both vitamin C and folate help to reduce tiredness and fatigue.
5. Too much food?
Athletes performing endurance sports can burn more than 7000 kcal a day. Because fruit and vegetables can be filling and they do not contain a lot of calories, they are sometimes omitted by athletes in favour of high calorie food. Nevertheless everyone, including athletes, still needs at least 400 g (5 portions) of fruits and vegetables a day. To make sure an athlete gets all the good nutrients from fruit without feeling too full just before exercising, they can choose 100% fruit juice as part of their fruit and vegetable intake, and this will also help hydration.
1. Clinical Sports Nutrition, Clinical Sports Nutrition, 5/e, Louise Burke, Vicki Deakin Copyright year: 2015
2. University Sports Centre LEUVEN, Belgium , https://www.kuleuven.be/sport/sportaanbod/personeel/een-goede-en-gezonde-ontbijt-start-van-de-dag
3. World Health Organization. Fact sheet N°394. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs394/en/ [Last accessed 8 February 2017]
4. Voedingscentrum.nl Dutch Information platform for a healthy balanced diet.
5. Official Journal of the European Union. EU Commission Regulation 432/2012 of 16/05/2012. Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:136:0001:0040:en:PDF [Last accessed 8 February 2017]