Need to quantify ‘salmon, beef’ in meals for Vietnamese players

Nutrition is one of the most important factors determining success or failure in sports. For athletes, the quality and nutritional content of meals will help maintain fitness, strength, and develop physically and mentally. However, sports nutrition in Vietnam is an area that needs further improvement.

Sharing at the Seminar “Balance of nutrition for people who practice sports” of the electronic newspaper VTC News, Coach Mai Duc Chung said that the quality of the athletes’ meals today has been significantly improved compared to the past. but still need to be supplemented, more specific quantification.

It is necessary to calculate specifically how much energy athletes need to load, what foods to add, instead of estimating based on personal experience.

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Coach Mai Duc Chung raised his views on nutrition in sports at the talk show of the electronic newspaper VTC News. (Photo: Hong Nam)

We are lacking in the aspect of sports medicine. Because eating, training, and massage are all important for players to have a good physical foundation. In which eating is the most important, without it, there is not enough physical strength to compete.

Previously, Vietnamese players would walk until the 60th and 70th minutes. Now that the player has improved, the meal is also fortified with vitamins. This meal does not have beef, salmon added a little bit, but it cannot be said to be enough. Need to calculate the actual nutrition for the player is how much.

One piece of salmon is not enough for athletes, so how much, how many times a week to eat? We have not quantified.

We do not have a nutritionist for each athlete. But you have to understand because Vietnamese sports are still difficult, the nutrition for sports is not equal to other countries.

In Vietnam, we do not have a machine to calculate nutrition for each athlete, but thanks to our professional and experienced eyes, we understand what substances need to be loaded. We have added more sugar and milk for athletes. But that is only a part, not yet met. We need more nutrition in our meals, not just milk“, coach Mai Duc Chung shared.

Coach Mai Duc Chung raised two issues of current Vietnamese sports nutrition. Firstly, athletes have not fully calculated the amount of energy they need to absorb to meet professional exercises, resulting in nutritional supplements not being able to take place in accordance with each person’s condition. Each player has different absorption needs, but the dishes are still designed for the collective.

Compared with countries with developed sports, it seems that the diet of Vietnamese athletes has not been designed in detail and sufficiently. Coach Mai Duc Chung said that this is the reason why Vietnamese players are not in good shape like foreign players.

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Coach Mai Duc Chung and player Hoang Thi Loan. (Photo: Dac Huy)

Nutrition in sports depends on each individual, each subject, cannot be divided into a general type of ‘head supplement’. We sympathize with Vietnam, when the situation of sports is difficult, not as much as many countries, so it is difficult to require nutrition to be distributed according to each subject.

In football, our athletes have a food standard of 500,000 VND/day, but there is no nutritional standard for each athlete. In the women’s team, we divide meals by tray, consisting of 6 people / tray, each tray has 5, 6 dishes, with dishes such as chicken, fried fish, stir-fried vegetables, soup, and fruits. Each tray is the same as any other, often indistinguishable.

Nutrition for sports people is very important, especially football because this sport requires players to expend a lot of energy.

After a match, there are players who lose nearly 5kg, run more than 10km at most, such energy without compensating, their physical strength and health is going down. Nutrition is an important part of high performance athletes. However, we have not met the nutritional requirements compared to the common ground“, shared Mr. Chung.

The second problem is that there are many players today who eat according to their personal preferences, mainly eating to be full, eating to have a good appetite, instead of eating for the nutritional needs of the body. Coach Mai Duc Chung requires students to accept even the foods they do not like, as long as these dishes have the necessary nutrients and micronutrients for sports. Therefore, raising awareness for athletes about nutrition and healthy eating habits is also essential.

Until now, when I lead the national women’s team, I always tell the players to eat butter, cheese, bread, milk or chocolate, because they are all good. Maybe we’re not used to it, but we can’t just eat what we like, I always tell the players.

I remind the players to practice, if you don’t like it, eat it, if you don’t like it, don’t eat it. The things we don’t like are sometimes very nutritious“, coach Mai Duc Chung further analyzed.

Finally, the 71-year-old coach emphasized that sports teams need a nutritionist, thereby “quantifying” the substances athletes need to absorb to have the best physical and strength foundation. Sports nutrition needs proper attention and investment, thus helping athletes stay healthy and maximize their potential in sports, not just football.

The nutritionist will provide a daily menu, if it is not possible to design a menu for each athlete, it can be designed for the whole team. We can’t eat according to our emotions because that’s not enough food“, coach Mai Duc Chung concluded.

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