To optimize performance energy intake should match dynamically with energy expenditure. Any reduction in energy intake will result in energy deficiency and will have a profound effect on performance.
Negative energy balance (energy intake is lesser than energy output) will disturb normal appetite control by decreasing leptin and increasing gherlin production. This in turn increases cortisol (stress hormone) production, which will catabolise fat free mass to provide energy for the body, thus resulting in fat constituting a higher proportion of body weight.
As a result of relatively increase fat mass and the runner will further reduce energy intake to attain an ideal body weight and composition which will further reduce the body’s metabolic rate and calorie needs. Such low calorie diets will manifest serious long term effects in terms of increase frequency of diseases.
Thus, eating the right foods is very crucial to maintain energy balance throughout the day. Energy intake should focus on optimal ratios and quantities of all sources of energy: carbohydrate, protein and fat.
Rather than decreasing calorie intake to enhance performance diet should focus on diet which is high in complex carbohydrates (Whole grain cereals and its products, fruits, potato), moderate in good quality protein (low fat milk and its products, egg white, whey protein, egg white, lean meats) and relatively low in fat.