The Brazilian Paralympic Committee has teamed up with Ajinomoto do Brasil to promote the benefits of amino acid intake for athletes ©CPB

Brazilian Para athletes in athletics, swimming and weightlifting took part in two virtual meetings on food and nutrition.

Almost 100 athletes participated in the first meeting before about 40 young people got involved in the second.

The meetings come as part of a partnership between the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) and Ajinomoto do Brasil which was signed in 2019 to promote the benefits of amino acid intake for athletes.

Meetings were held in 2019 which brought together table tennis and athletics competitors, while a similar activity was carried out with swimmers up to 19 years old before the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020.

Representatives at Ajinomoto do Brasil presented a series of lectures at the recent meeting to promote the role nutrition can play in the daily life of an athlete.

Ajinomoto's team of nutritionists presented athletes with the "Food to win - Kachimeshi" programme.

Created in Japan and adopted by the country's Olympic and Paralympic Committees since the early 2000s, the concept encourages a balanced diet that meets the needs of different styles and stages of life, contributing to the better performance of athletes.

Seven-time Paralympic medallist Phelipe Rodrigues welcomed the nutrition meetings ©Getty Images
Seven-time Paralympic medallist Phelipe Rodrigues welcomed the nutrition meetings ©Getty Images

The experts spoke about food groups and the importance that a balanced diet has for achieving goals.

"Our goal is to help them assimilate information so that they are able to make good choices, guaranteeing a balanced and tasty diet with what they have available on a daily basis," said Priscila Andrade, marketing nutrition manager at Ajinomoto do Brasil.

The meetings also highlighted the benefits that the consumption of amino acids offers for muscle recovery.

"The advantage of consuming amino acids through supplementation is the absorption time - on average 15 to 30 minutes, compared to the four hours required to digest proteins, which are more structurally complex."

Alberto Martins, technical director of the CPB, said the Kachimeshi project was "extremely important" to ensure athletes understand the significance healthy eating can have in delivering results.

"This will facilitate a better understanding when CPB nutritionists will evaluate, guide and accompany athletes in their food and nutrition," said Martins.

"Therefore, an educational project like this will bring benefits and subsidies for athletes to better understand nutritional guidelines."

Swimmer Phelipe Rodrigues, a winner of seven Paralympic medals, added: "A programme like this is very valid for us athletes to stay up to date on what is most modern in relation to sports nutrition and even more on high performance, in which each small improvement makes a significant difference in the results."