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How saturated fats play a role in your high performance diet

York Foods

How saturated fats play a role in your high performance diet

24 June 2015

Athletes achieve their peak sporting performance through good diet, nutrition, and eating a variety of foods. The energy they need commonly comes from fats, carbohydrates, and protein, however the ratio of which athletes should consume these foods is often debated.

Carbohydrates should form the basis of the high performance athlete’s diet, that’s a given, however depending on the type of sports being performed, upping the inclusion of saturated fats should be considered.

The fat you consume will depend on the sport you play

This is because essentially, fat is at the core, fuel for exercise, and provides a higher concentration of energy than carbohydrates or proteins. If you are a sportsperson performing quick, intense activities - think sprinting or rowing - then high calorific fats won’t physically be accessible to you due to the way the body accesses stored energy. However, for the sportsperson undertaking endurance sports - cycling, cross-country skiing, or hiking - then ensuring your diet is high fat plays an important part in your performance.

How well trained you are impacts how quickly energy from fat is used

Other than looking at the sports being performed, it’s important to consider the athlete’s condition; that is, are they trained or untrained? This is because trained athletes use fat for energy far more quickly, than untrained. Trained athletes are able to metabolise the fat a lot faster than moderate exercisers due to the intense preparation that has been undertaken for competition.

As more research is undertaken in the area of sports performance and the relationship with fat intake, more and more evidence is coming to hand that sportspeople who restrict the amount of fats in their diet are actually hindering their overall performance.

Fat is important for pre- and post-event recovery

We also know that fats positively affect our hormonal functions, muscle growth, tissue repair, and immune system strength. This is obviously important for the sportsperson looking to get their body ready for peak performance, as well as recovering appropriately after their competition.

High performance athletes know what they want to achieve and need to ensure they have access to the right information to make the best, well-informed decisions in relation to diet and exercise. A training regime will help performance and even more so when a good diet, tailored to your sport and your level of athleticism is in place.

Get results using York Foods products

If you are looking for an easier way to achieve great results without undesirable weight gain, increasing your intake of natural slow release saturated fats and Omegas 3 and 6 in your diet is an effective option.

Using our drippings, oil or lard in your cooking is a simple way to achieve this. Have a look through our recipes and suggested uses sections for inspiration.