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¿Is the Valencian paella a balanced dish for athletes?

Posted on9 Months ago 816

¿Is the Valencian paella a balanced dish for athletes?

Every elite athlete seeks a meal full of nutrients, protein and minerals after training or a hard effort in a competition with the goal of winning.

There are all kinds of diets and supplements that many athletes take to ensure that their body can withstand the necessary efforts of their training, but what happens when we are not talking about an individual athlete, but hundreds of athletes during a marathon or a triathlon, they go to cook their diets themselves with all the fatigue? Obviously not, and that is why it is more usual for there to be a catering team with a meal prepared for all the athletes.

Of course, you will wonder what food could be the most suitable for hundreds of tired athletes, looking to recover their strength and obtain the necessary nutrients and proteins for their body? The answer is quite simple, the athlete seeks a healthy, balanced and of course tasty diet, if possible, a freshly made dish that provides food and nutrients and that everyone likes.

The perfect dish is a paella, which we can affirm both from our own experience and through our studies that it is an excellent meal for an athlete. Next, we are going to deconstruct and analyze the ingredients of a Valencian paella to show this point:

Cycling tour 2022

Let's dissect the ingredients of a Valencian paella:

Rice is an ingredient rich in carbohydrates that has a high glycemic index that generates a high blood sugar spike, in fact, according to Harvard Medical School, it has almost the same effect as eating pure table sugar, for Therefore, it is a great source of glucose necessary for the brain and muscles, which is why it is an excellent source of energy for intense physical activities and also for sustained training or to recover after making great efforts.

The different meats used in the Valencian paella may be perfect for us, for example, rabbit meat is highly rich in protein and low in saturated fat.

Meanwhile, chicken meat is very easy to digest and has a high level of protein, in addition, most of the chicken's body fat resides in its skin, so removing it reduces our fat intake significantly. Considerable.

Tomato, the base of all paella, is an ingredient with a high level of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, such as lycopene, vitamin C, A, K, folic acid and potassium, which helps us maintain healthy blood pressure. .

Saffron, a classic paella ingredient, can improve our digestion, especially in those who suffer from gallbladder problems.

The bachoqueta, also referred to as horseshoe or flat green bean, has a high content of dietary fiber, facilitating digestion and avoiding cardiovascular diseases. Among its main nutrients we find vitamins C, K, manganese, iron, potassium and folate, which is essential for the production of red blood cells.

The garrofon, an infallible ingredient in any paella that wants to be called paella, has a high level of minerals such as iron and potassium, and is rich in fiber. Along with this, it has been shown that it offers benefits to regulate blood cholesterol and intestinal transit. The fiber it contains can even give us a feeling of high satiety, which means that we can eat a smaller portion of paella if we wish and our body will not notice it.

Ironman Mallorca 2023

Benefits of its key ingredient: rice

Rice, like any cereal, has many benefits for our health, its contribution of energy from the carbohydrates it possesses stands out, a good source of vitamin B and fiber, it also contains minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and lack of fat.

It is also noted that it is an easily digestible food, thanks to its low level of fiber and starch, which regulates the transit of digestive activity without altering its functioning or causing irritation in the area. This makes it a perfect food so that it does not produce stomach heaviness during our sports day.

In turn, it acts as a good protector of cardiovascular activity, the magnesium it contains acts as a beneficial stabilizer of blood pressure and heart rate.

We also highlight its anti-inflammatory components and its lack of gluten, which makes it a balanced dish even for celiacs.

Along with these data, we can also highlight its favorable general content through 100 grams of rice:

Nutritional information for rice per quantity of 100 grams
Calories 130
Total fats 0,3 g
Saturated fatty acids 0,1
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Potassium 35 mg
Carbohydrates 28 g
Dietary fiber 0,4 g
Sugars 0,1 g
Proteins 2,7 g
Vitamin C 0 mg
Calcium 10 mg
Iron  0,2 mg 
Vitamin D 0 IU
Vitamin B6 0,1 mg
Vitamin b12 0 mg
Magnesium 12 mg

We must also take into account what kind of rice we use, different variations have different characteristics and slight differences in their nutrients that can change how we taste and enjoy our paella.

If you want to know more about these variations of rice, you can visit our blog post and learn about their differences and which would be the most suitable for your paella dish.

Cycling tour 2018

The Valencian Paella as food for athletes:

Nutrients Amount per service (IDR%)
Calories  860 Kcal (43%)
Calcium  95 mg (10%)
Vitamin C 19 mg (32%) 
Vitamin A 83 mcg RAE (3%) 
Potassium 1128 mg 
Magnesium 189 mg 
Protein 45 g 
Sugars 3 g 
Fiber 7 g 
Carbohydrates 98 g 
Cholesterol 120 mg (40%) 
Sodium 438 mg (18%) 
Saturated fats 7 g (33%) 
Fat 30 g (47%) 
Iron 10 mg (53%) 

(This nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon of salt added per person)

One of the points of our appreciated Mediterranean diet in terms of paella, is the fact that its variety of ingredients categorizes it as one of the most complete dishes in terms of nutrients.

Although we must take into account that it is a dish with many calories, it supplies us with 43% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) and is characterized by having a high content of iron and vitamin C, it also serves as a source of vitamin A, Potassium and Magnesium.

In the table that we show above, the nutritional percentages are based on the recommended daily percentage for your body, as we can see, the Valencian paella can provide practically half of the calories, fat and iron needed for a full day.

This makes it a very effective dish for athletes, since it is essential to take into account that athletes need a caloric diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.

Paella is a highly carbohydrate-rich dish thanks to rice and vegetables, these are important because they are converted into glucose, which is the source of energy for our muscles.

Along with this, a plate of paella, thanks to its fat and sodium content, can be an excellent dish after a competition to recover our body from the effort.

Another version that could be considered very healthy and effective for athletes would be a seafood paella, thanks to the fact that it contains less sodium and fat, which would help us maintain a better balance in our electrolytes.

We also highlight that the Valencian paella, in many cases, can be complemented with a glass of juice and peeled fruit, providing both a delicious combination rich in flavors and nutrients and proteins necessary for the athlete to recover after their effort.

We include together with this information that the Valencian paella and the vegetable paella are not only the most popular among athletes, but also happen to be free of the most common allergens, which means that they can be enjoyed by people with allergies or celiac disease. .

In the following table, we show you the possible allergens that you can find in the ingredients if you obtain them in any store, supermarket, hypermarket, and they are ingredients that may contain processed products, with industrial treatments and with a high probability of having the presence of additives of any kind, in which we can find the presence of certain possible allergens, such as the use of fumets or processed funds from a recognized company that is accessible and popular in many shops.

Allergens  Valencian Paella   Seafood Paella/Black Rice   Vegetable paella 
Gluten    x  
Crustaceans    x  
Egg  x  x  
Fish    x  
Soy    x  
Shell fruits      
Celery  x  x(traces)  
Sulfites    x  
Molluscs    x  

Meanwhile, in the following table, are the allergens that you can find if you have obtained the ingredients used in the paella on your own, that is, all the ingredients are natural, unprocessed products that have not undergone any kind of treatment. industrial, so they do not have any kind of additive:

Allergens  Valencian Paella   Seafood Paella/Black Rice   Vegetable paella 
Crustaceans    x  
Fish    x  
Shell fruits      
Sulfites    x  
Molluscs    x  

You can learn more about the possible allergens of the different most popular paella recipes in our blog post.

Formula E

Our experience in catering services for events and large sporting events

At Original Paella we have been cooking more than 150,000 portions of paellas cooked in front of the client at sporting events since 2016, during this time we have cooked all kinds of popular paellas in our giant paellas for many events such as the Cycling Tour of Spain, the Ironman, the Cycling Tour, Bestciclyng, the Royal Tennis Club of Barcelona, Formula E, Nascar, MotoGP, Deltebre, the Spanish Radio Control and Volleyball Championship, World paddle tour, Crazyrace and much more.

Our cooking system includes the assembly of tents that we assemble and disassemble in a few minutes but that allows us to cook safely and attractively, since all the participants can enjoy the show live to see how we prepare the original Valencian paella in the most traditional.

In the sporting events in which we participate, the athletes eat a plate of the original Valencian paella recipe, freshly made, which we cook in front of the athletes themselves in paellas for 200 people, which allows us to cook them of various types or even according to the expected arrival of the athletes, since they normally arrive in stages so that everyone can enjoy a hot and freshly made plate of paella.

In our experience, combining paella with a glass of juice and freshly peeled fruit is a much healthier and, above all, satisfying alternative for all athletes, who are very grateful, especially when compared to the traditional picnic bag. , which normally consists of a sandwich in its main dish that necessarily had to be prepared the day before, which logically has nothing to do with a freshly made paella dish.

If you want to know more about our services for sporting events, you can visit our giant paella page for events.

€82.95 €88.48

Our favourite kit, This Original Paella Set or full paella set with versatile and very durable equipment. It contains two polished paella pans (5-6 and 9-10 person), the 2-ring (40 cm) paella burner, stable reinforced legs and a practical paella pan support.  Alternatively, you can choose an enamelled paella pan (manteinance-free).

€145.95 €175.22
Our most complete paella set! Original Paella Premium Set contains two polished paella pans (5 and 10 person) a Enamelled steel griddle 46 cm, a 2-ring (40 cm) paella burner, reinforced legs, a stainless spoon for serving, a lid to prevent splashing, a wind shield, a practical adjustable paella pan support and six wooden spoons.
€4.95 €5.13
  • Carbon steel paella pan of 30 cm, the traditional iron paella pan.

  • Classic paella, the original iron paella pan that represents the most traditional paella.

  • Maximum servings: 4 people

  • Half capacity serving: 2-3 people

  • Valencian serving style: 1 person

  • Top diameter: 30 cm

  • Base diameter: 24,8 cm

  • Height: 3,8 cm

  • Paella pan suitable for Gas hob, paella gas burner and open fire.

€26.45 €29.27
  • 30 cm high power paella burner

  • Outside diameter: 30 cm (12 inches)

  • Inner ring diameter: 15 cm
  • Fire rings paella burner: 3 rings

  • Approved for outdoor use

  • For Paella pans from 38 cm/15 inches up to 55 cm/ 21,65 inches

  • CE Certified Paella Gas Burners and are made in Valencia Spain

  • High power: up to 12,55 Kw (see table below)

  • You can find gas accessories here
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