Reasons Why Athletes Must Include Pasta in Their Diet

In addition to being the signature Italian Mediterranean diet, pasta is also an excellent food for athletes or anyone who participates in sports.  While most of us have been made to believe that eating foods high in carbohydrates can be bad for our health, you need to think twice if you are an athlete.

High protein/low carb diets can help with short-term weight loss, but cutting carbs for a prolonged time can be quite detrimental for athletes. This group of people needs to consume relatively high amounts of carbohydrates such as bread, vegetable, and pasta to maintain their glycogen reserves and provide the body with the much-needed energy.

In this post, we discuss some of the critical reasons why every athlete should include pasta in his/her diet plan.

1.     Pasta replenishes glycogen stores

Indulging in a portion of pasta and fresh vegetable dish at your favorite pasta restaurant is one of the best ways to recover after hours of a tough workout.

Typically, after intense exercise, the glycogen stores in your body gets depleted, and eating foods rich in carbohydrates is one of the best ways of replenishing the depleted glycogen.

For your body to fully recover and ensure you have enough fuel for the following day, you need to replenish the glycogen stores by consuming lots of carbohydrates.

2.     Pasta fights fatigue

Did you know that pasta has an energizing effect? When taken in the right quantities, it improves your performance during a physical workout and boosts your stamina.  The noodles also provide B vitamins that play a critical role in the metabolism of fats, proteins, and sugars.

These vitamins also play a critical role in providing your body with the energy needed to overcome physical fatigue that may occur during training. Pasta is also a good source of magnesium needed to promote proper blood circulation within the body.  

It also contains tryptophan- an amino acid that triggers the release of serotonin from your brain. Serotonin is a wellness transmitter that alleviates the feeling of fatigue so you can train better.

3.     Filling up on pasta is an ancient way to race

Endurance athletes such as marathon runners understand the importance of carbohydrates for fuel. In fact, one of the ways these athletes use to prepare for races and other sporting activities is by consuming lots of vegetables and pasta the night before the race.

This is what is commonly referred to as carbo-loading, and it is necessary to ensure the body can meet the energy demands of the marathon. Carbo-loading has been in existence for many years, and modern athletes still depend on it to win races.

4.     Pasta staves off hunger after training

One last benefit of pasta for athletes is that it helps you avoid overeating just after training. The meal has great satiating power and its complex chain of carbohydrates provides energy to the body slowly, making you feel full longer.

The sense of fullness lasts even longer if the pasta is whole wheat. Its fibers slow down the absorption rate of fats and sugars, delaying gastric emptying hence prolonging the feeling of fullness.

To achieve better results, consider eating it “al dente” topped with tomato sauce, seasonal vegetables, or extra –virgin soil. This is a simple combo that you can order in any pasta restaurant near you.


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