Diet for a Chess Player
Probably the title “Diet for a Chess Player” sounds strange, but the truth is that chess is a very complex game that requires its players to keep physically and mentally fit in order to give a better performance in each competition.
Good nutrition is something fundamental within the many factors that influence the performance of the players, as long as it is in a proper way, otherwise, it will affect their performance during a competition and will lower their performance.
Today we will talk about the essential foods in the diet of a chess player as well as their importance and benefits.
The importance of good nutrition in mental sports
Eating healthy food is something important before playing chess, especially during a competition. Taking into account that, we must eat food two hours before starting a game. Eating too much food before a game will make the stomach do all the digestive work, thus preventing the mind from concentrating.
Good nutrition plays a significant role as well as drinking water since it helps to prevent headaches, fatigue, low blood pressure, and any other symptom that prevents us from playing better. The foods to ingest are always those that are in charge of oxygenating the brain and provide it with good nutrients, among which are: foods rich in phosphorus, amino acids, glucose, B vitamins, among others.
Among the foods, rich in phosphorus are sardines, fish, especially bluefish. Cheese or seafood, eggs, and meats such as chicken or pork. Among the desserts, chocolate is excellent and the classic yogurt.
Amino acids: Any food of animal origin, red and white meat, chicken, fish such as tuna or salmon. Milk, eggs.
Glucose of slow absorption: Fruits and vegetables, flours, and integral cereals. Above all, it is important to consume sugar, but do not overdo it, whole-grain sugars or panela are excellent.
B complex vitamins: The consumption of this vitamin is essential, as it helps our nervous system. Among the foods to consume, we have vegetables, red meats, offal of cattle, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, as well as whole foods.
With this, we realize that the important thing is to consume this type of food as much as possible. It is not necessary to change our diet and follow a strict diet, just prepare some of these meats, eat a bar of chocolate for dessert one day, but the most important thing is always to drink a cup of coffee before each competition.
Since we mentioned coffee, adequate hydration is another necessary point in the diet of a chess player.
During chess championships, where players must play several days in a row and get little sleep, the first thing to be lost is the liquids in the body due to fatigue. Therefore, players should never neglect their hydration.
Therefore, drinking water constantly is something that should always be kept in mind. When we talk about adequate hydration, we mean avoiding sodas and energy drinks containing sugar, that is, it is not bad to drink them from time to time and especially in championships, but we should not replace water for them.
Coffee: Can also be a good drink as we mentioned before, before each championship, and always in small quantities because it keeps the mind awake.
Drinking tea is also a very good option for those who do not enjoy energy drinks or coffee and are looking for another alternative as natural as water.
The best foods that every chess player should eat (Diet for a Chess Player)
Broccoli: The best option when it comes to fiber, vitamins A, low calories. Brussels, cauliflower, cabbage, or turnips. All from Italy.
Oatmeal: Especially oatmeal shakes or smoothies. They provide a lot of energy, amino acids, and complex carbohydrates, folic acid, vitamins B1 and B3. Oatmeal is a very popular cereal because it is a great nutrient; it helps the heart, diabetes, and even the arteries. It is an excellent breakfast, dinner, and even dessert prepared in different ways.
Banana: Contains soluble fiber, which makes it excellent for bowel movement, prevents fluid retention because it has very low sodium.
Oily fish: As well as oily fish, soybean oils, nuts, and dried fruits. Excellent for omega-3, something that should be consumed at least 3 times a week.
Spinach, liver, sunflower seeds: Among these foods, we find folic acid that intervenes in the body’s metabolic interactions. The liver is very rich in iron and folic acid, which improves brain performance. Consuming liver every 15 days combined with vegetables rich in folic acid will give us an ideal menu.
Chocolate: Chocolate is possibly the best food for those with a sweet tooth. Chocolate helps a lot to prevent cardiovascular problems, lowers blood pressure, has many B vitamins, potassium, iron, and magnesium. While we enjoy its splendid taste, it also helps to reduce cancer and premature aging.
How many calories do we burn during a chess tournament?
This question is the one that everyone always asks because it seems crazy to believe that we can lose weight playing chess. The truth is that losing weight is possible in this sport and this is due to the fact that, being exposed for so many hours playing, we start to feel some massive psychological stress until we get tired.
Many factors influence when playing chess that make us lose many calories without even realizing it. Dexterity would be one of the main factors, and dexterity is very much required especially when playing a game against the clock.
The Russian player Garry Kasparov managed to lose up to 5000 calories after his tournaments, something impressive and scientifically proven. When we reach the point of feeling physically and mentally exhausted, we automatically start to lose weight.
We must keep in mind that we cannot expect to lose weight only playing chess, because as we have already mentioned in many other articles, keeping fit by doing any other type of exercise outside the chessboard (in addition to the diet for a chess player) will help us to perform better during the championships.