Nutrition, Sport and Joints of Senior Sportspersons

food for seniors

A balanced Diet and Moderate Physical Activity Help Preserve Joints
Arthrosis prevention is as important as its treatment after the disease becomes apparent. Basic preventive measures are exercise, nutritional supplements to prevent joint wear, and loss of body weight. Because of this, older people’s nutrition plays a very important role. It must be balanced and include the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Physical activity is necessary to maintain musculature and keep joints in good shape (cuidar las articulaciones). Moreover, if exercise is practiced regularly, it is easier to keep a stable body weight thanks to the caloric expeniture. A stable body weight is essential to keep joints in good shape.

With that objective in mind, the diet must be composed by the following: 50-55% of carbohydrates, 25% of fats (controlling the quantity of saturated fats and eating whenever possible unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and 15-17% of proteins. There must be 1.2 gr of protein per kg of weight for sportspersons. Sedentary lifestyle adults will have around 0.8 gr per kg of weight.
We must also choose food that has the neccessary quantities of vitamins and minerals required by this stage of life. Fruit, vegetables, fish, legumes, wholewheat cereals, and above all, drinking the neccessary amounts of water to keep the body sufficiently hydrated are vital.  Calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, C and E vitamins, and vitamins of the B group, must be present also in the daily diet.

It is essential a balanced diet, with all neccessary nutrients, as well as taking into account the loss of calories during periods of physical and mental stress

Food texture must vary depending on each person’s needs. If there are chewing difficulties, purées or soft food become more important, but they must also have the same nutrition qualities. For instance, if there is a problem to chew certain types of meat, cheeses or similar food, protein can be obtained from eggs, boiled or steamed fish, yogourt, and soft cheese.
The ideal daily diet should include:

Dairy Products: yogurt, cow or soy milk, cheese (2 portions per day).

Cereals and flour-based food: pasta, rice, legumes, bread, cereals (4 portions per day).

Proteins: meat, fish, eggs, ham, turkey (2-3 portions per day).

Fruits: 3 portions per day.

Vegetables: 2 portions per day.

Dried Fruit: 1 portion per day.

Oil: 2 portions per day.

After every exercise session it is important to restore the spent glycogen, so it is important to take fruit or some type of fast-absorption carbohydrate. It is also fundamental to restore proteins in the first important meal of the day, preferably by eating fish as this food contains all essential amino acids, and little fat.

A balanced diet for people doing an hour of exercice every morning:

Breakfast: Bowl of fruit, cereals, skimmed yogurt, and dried fruits.

Late morning snack: Toast with jam or fruit and dry fruits or soft cheese with honey.

Lunch: Legume salad with rice, soy shoots and hard-boiled egg, apple compote.

Afternoon Snack: Fruit gelatine or soy milk and 1-2 biscuits, or fruit and yogurt. 

Supper: Vegetables, cream, roasted fish, yogurt or fruit.

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