What impact does a balanced diet have on physical performance?

woman wearing black sports bra facing front selective focus photography

Sport performance benefits hugely from proper nutrition. We all know the best way to stay healthy is to combine eating the right things with an active lifestyle and regular exercise. Consuming a healthy diet provides the energy you need to play better, even in leisurely sports or activities like those at Waiheke’s Rec centre.

The best diet for an athlete is largely the same as the diet that’s advised for any healthy person. Where things differ, is the quantity of each food group consumed – think calories! The amounts differ per person, depending on the level and type of sport played, how much training you do and how much time you spend engaging in the activity or exercising. To stay lean and fit, you should ideally avoid consuming more energy than you expend. Sounds obvious, but most people frequently overestimate the number of calories they burn during a workout, vs what they think they have eaten.

Nonetheless, a balanced diet can not do more that simply assist you to obtain the calories and nutrients you require to fuel your daily activities, such as playing indoor football or badminton. Thinking carefully about what you put in and what you put out also plays a big part in helping to determine how your body will evolve at a cellular level.

From below of crop multiethnic team of professional basketball players gathering and putting hands together while standing on playground before game

Why is that important? Thins the old adage “you are what you eat” and it’s true because your body transforms the food you eat into glucose, which is later changed into a compound called ‘ATP’ (or adenosine triphosphate), which is then absorbed by the body’s cells to drive many processes such as muscle contraction, nerve impulse and a lot more. When you eat wholesome, high-quality foods, the ATP process produces high quality body functional chemicals, literally feeding our muscles and providing the best athletic capability.

In contrast, our cells can’t function properly when we consume unhealthy foods or deprive our bodies of quality nutrition for long periods – and that clearly lowers our athletic performance. So there you have it – healthy eating has an impact on all aspects of your health, not just your physical performance!

Nutrition according to the type of activity and training in the right environment.

person holding black and white tennis racket

The majority of an athlete’s training is focused on the sports they play. Tennis, basketball, and football are just a few of the sports that are played indoors. The majority of indoor facilities don’t always have the right equipment for the needs of athletes.

The availability of indoor sporting facilities at all times, regardless of the weather, is their most evident benefit. The indoor, climate-controlled setting allows for year-round participation in sports.

It’s difficult, if not dangerous, to practice or play when it’s really hot or cold. It’s stressful and problematic for players, coaches, fans, and facility owners when games or practices must be cancelled or rescheduled due to torrential rain, heavy snowfall, dense fog, high winds, and extreme temperatures.

A good place for these activities is the Waiheke Recreation Centre, where a variety of indoor sports and equipment are offered, along with additional facilities, showers, large space and more.

What to eat.

macro shot of vegetable lot

You should aim to eat enough calories and nutrients to keep your weight stable, improve your performance and recovery, and develop a timing strategy that works for your body type, sport, and schedule. In general, there are three categories to think about closely;


1. For slow-releasing of energy during a game or physical activity, carbohydrates are necessary. Some examples are rice, pasta, bagels, and whole-grain bread. Ideally eat 3 – 4 hours prior to playing.


2. Muscle development and tissue healing both require protein. After glucose reserves have been exhausted, the body can also utilize protein as energy. How much protein you need depends on your body size, age, how long you’ll be playing for and more. Experts suggest that physically active people need 0.54–0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.2–2 grams per kg) per day. Some good options for protein are: eggs, lean meat (e.g. chicken), lentils, fish, nuts and seeds.

Water and other fluids

3. The most crucial nutrition for athletes is water, which is often frequently ignored or a secondary consideration, especially where amateur sports are concerned.. To keep the body hydrated and at the right temperature, you need to drink water and other liquids. Your body might lose several litres of water every hour of strenuous activity.

Your overall performance and sport routine, how tired you get, your ability to react quickly and recover fast are all impacted by what you consume. The secret is to pay close attention to your body, learn how to be aware of what you need and to find a balance between what feels right and what is healthy for you.

Come and join us at the Waiheke Recreation Centre for some indoor social sport and community physical activity. Find out what’s on.