Fats for sport

Should athletes take a lot of fats?


fats for sport
Some foods that contain fats: olive oil, walnuts, hazelnuts and avocados

Are fats necessary for sport?

Fats are essential in our diet. They are part and are necessary for the formation of many tissues of our organism and are necessary for the absorption of liposoluble vitamins, that is to say, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K.

Fats are the macronutrient that gives us more calories per gram, specifically 9 calories per gram. These values ​​provide more than twice as many calories as carbohydrates and proteins.

Fats should constitute between 25 and 30% of our total daily energy intake. In relation to physical activity, fats are the second source of energy that the body uses, in the absence of glucose. That is, when a long-term physical exercise depletes our body’s glucose, it uses fat.

What fats are most important for sport?

We must take into account that there are several types of fats, from saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated to polyunsaturated, which we must bring to the possible in concrete proportions.

Saturated oils should constitute a maximum of 7% of calories from dietary fats. These oils are found in foods of animal origin, such as milk and its derivatives; or fatty meats, and of vegetable origin such as palm oil and coconut oil.

In contrast, vegetable oils such as sunflower or olive oil contain unsaturated fat. The former is considered polyunsaturated, in conjunction with soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil or oily fish oils and nuts. Olive oil is considered monounsaturated. These types of fatty acids should be provided with values ​​between 13 and 18% of monounsaturates and values ​​between 7 and 10% of polyunsaturates.

There is another type of fats called “trans”, they act like saturated fats and the contribution of trans fats or hydrogenated fats should not exceed 1% of the intake.

Depending on the quality of the fats we eat, our body will have a more or less healthy lipid profile.

In sports, fats are very necessary because, once the glucose is depleted, we obtain the necessary energy through the fatty deposit of our organism.

* Related information:

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Coconut for athletes

Guayaba for sportsmen

Acai, ideal food for athletes

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This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

9 February, 2024

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