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Fats and Sports Nutrition

Like proteins and carbohydrates, fat is a reliable source of energy, especially when the body is at rest or involved in low intensity physical exercise. Fat is burnt with the help of the contracting muscles during training so a good amount of fat is oxidised even during aerobic exercises.

If you believe that by ingesting fat you cannot lose fat, you are wrong. Fat can be burned in a variety of ways no matter how moderately you exercise. Actually, if you use fat to fuel your exercises you help sparing the amount of glycogen in your muscles which provides extra energy and keeps you going throughout your training practice.

Apart from adding flavour to certain foods, fat helps you maintain your daily energy requirements. Together with energy provided by other food types, fat helps your body to perform the kind of physical activity you are expected to.  It also carries fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamin E, and essential fatty acids.

The recommended daily fat intake for athletes is about 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. A cup of milk, 1 tbsp cheese, butter, or peanut butter bring about 5 grams of fat each. This is good news for those who like these products and find it hard to stay away from meals that contain them.

A balanced diet, even for athletes who have high calorie needs, allows you to take no more than 30% of your daily calories from fat. Exceeding this limit a day is not justifiable as long as the diet should contain proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins as well as minerals. 

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