Lipids, or else known as fats, play a vital role in every person who is trying to live a healthy life. According to USDA, around 30 percent of all calories a normal person consumes during a day, should come from fat.
There are three types of fats that come from the food we eat. There are saturated fats, unsaturated fats and trans fats. Usually, saturated fats come from dairy and meat products and these types of fats are considered as “not so good” and they tend to increase our cholesterol levels. It is recommended that a normal person should not consume more than 20 grams of saturated fats per day. Along with saturated fats, trans fats are also considered a “bad” fat. These types of fats usually come from baked foods, or other commercial ones like fast food etc.
On the other hand, unsaturated fats are the ones that are considered to be the “good” type of fat. We get this type of fat from fatty fish, avocados, oils, and this type tends to not increase our cholesterol level.
Despite the fact fats are an essential element that should be included into everyone’s diet, today we’re going to focus more on the importance this element has on an athlete’s performance.
Why athletes should never skip fats?
Sometimes, in order to “see” more physical benefits and training results, athletes tend to eliminate fats from their diet. Despite the amount of fats you eliminate, the truth is, fats should always be a crucial part of your diet. Consuming them in the right amount is as much as important as not skipping them.
Fat acts like an essential part of our cells. Every single cell in our body, depends on fat for meeting the necessary energy needs. It is also necessary for the absorption of certain vitamins such as A, E, D, and also K. Fats are also crucial for the production of certain important hormones.
That is why, despite these basic facts, fats can also deliver some great benefits especially for athletes who tend to give their best in every single training routine while protecting the body and muscles.
Fats are an energy source
Did you know that fats are the highest concentration of energy our body can ever consume? It has 9 calories per each gram of fat. This amount of energy creates the perfect conditions to consume less unhealthy foods (full of carbs & alcohol) and more healthy ones and in a smaller amount. Consuming fats, especially unsaturated ones, means you get to consume the highest amount of energy source that will make you handle all the training to the maximum.
Fats and hormones
We all know hormones are chemicals that can control the balance of biochemical processes in our body. Also, they are responsible for driving growth, development, recovery etc. But, did you know that most of the hormones are produced by molecules that are derived from different fatty acids such as omge-3, 6 etc.? That is why, when we’re lack in fat, these hormones will not be in a right balance. This may potentially cause an impairing athletic performance and recovery as well.
Fats and inflammation
Every athlete experiences different inflammations in the muscles. These damaged muscles trigger the decrease of strength, endurance and speed. When your muscles are sore and inflamed, you are unable to properly finish and perform your routine. In order to keep the level of inflammation in your body in place, the omega-3,6-9 fatty acids are especially needed.