Interview with Alejandra Bastarós (nutritionist)

Interview with Alejandra Bastarós (nutritionist)

We interviewed Alejandra Bastarós, a nutritionist from Zaragoza (Spain) with a degree in human nutrition and dietetics from the University of Zaragoza, and a postgraduate degree in pediatric nutrition from the IUSC (University of Cádiz). Alejandra has developed her career advising individuals, elite athletes and Zaragoza musicians. You can find all the information about his work on the web www.dietista-zaragoza.es.

What is the job of nutritionist?

A Dietitian – Nutritionist is a health professional who has completed the career of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. It is dedicated to the dietary intervention in healthy and sick people, as well as in kitchens of collectivities, food industry, health centers, hospitals and public health.

How should a 14-year-old soccer player be prepared from the point of view of food in the hours leading up to a match?

In athletes it is important, before a competition, a correct supply of slow-absorbing carbohydrates approximately 2 hours before the game, with the possibility of providing slow-absorbing hydrates just before the start of the match.

Are there key foods and foods not recommended before the meetings?

The key foods before the game should be very low in fat, high in carbohydrates and avoid those that are high in fiber to avoid stomach and digestive problems during the game.

Are energy drinks or water for hydration more beneficial before and after?

The only drink we should use to hydrate is water, although we can not rule out isotonic drinks (which are not energetic, since they contain a large amount of sugar)

How often do you have to hydrate during games? (As a recommendation)

The general rule is to hydrate every 15 – 20 minutes, on cold days the sensation of thirst will not appear (we will keep in mind that a football match lasts 45 + 45 minutes), so drinking water at rest would be enough. On very hot days, it would be advisable to hydrate as much as possible.

What are the best foods for post-match recovery?

For post-game recovery, a menu rich in proteins would be convenient for good muscle recovery. If you are going to do sport the next day, a slow-absorbing carbohydrate intake (pasta, rice) would also be recommended.

What food routine should footballers follow during the tournament?

The routine of feeding during a tournament should be a healthy diet, with a greater contribution of carbohydrates, low in fat and with total absence of industrial or prefabricated foods.

Eat the right foods to what extent it affects the performance on the field?

It is demonstrated that a good diet improves sports performance, prevents injuries both bone and muscle, and allows a good recovery after effort.

What are the benefits of food in the prevention of injuries?

A good diet certainly helps prevent injuries; With a good supply of proteins and trace elements we will avoid muscle problems such as breakages and cramps. A good supply of vitamins and minerals will be essential to protect the bone structure and prevent injuries due to broken bones. Also, proper hydration will prevent heat shock and fainting due to dehydration.

What are the most important nutritional components to perform properly in a match?

More than fundamental components, it is appropriate that there is a correct contribution of all food groups. Hydrates give us energy, proteins are involved in muscle contraction, and vitamins and minerals regulate the proper functioning of the body.

Is the consumption of food supplements beneficial? From what age are they recommended?

Personally, I strongly discourage the use of sports supplements, unless there is a deficiency in some vitamin or mineral. To do so, starting at 21 years old.

In times of injury, is it advisable to modify the diet and how should it be done?

When we are injured we should modify our diet radically. We will diminish the contribution of carbohydrates, since its function is energetic, and we could run the risk of gaining weight quickly. It would also be appropriate to maintain protein intake to help improve that injury.

What are the most frequent mistakes in eating among people who practice sports?

The most frequent mistakes in athletes are those that commit the vast majority of the population: abuse of pre-cooked food, pastries, soft drinks … although what most occurs in athletes is protein abuse, believing that this will improve performance or muscle mass, when it has been shown that by taking more protein does NOT INCREASE performance or muscle mass.

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