Athletes have a lot to think about when it comes to being the best at what they do. They must treat their bodies as machines, well taken care of and provided with the best of everything to get maximum performance out of it. That is why nutrition, and proper eating play a large roll in their failures or successes. This article will highlight some areas and ways that athletes can make sure to gain the advantage over the competition.
A balanced diet is different for everyone. Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle need to eat a different diet than those who run marathons. It’s just that simple. Athletes need energy. Lots of energy that can be burned off during a workout, training session, or even sitting on the couch, as their metabolisms are so high. In order to get this, they need to eat lots of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates should NOT come in the form of sugar or refined flours though. They should be acquired through whole vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Processed sugar should be avoided at all costs.
There are different types of athletes. Some who run long distances and others who lift heavy objects. Weightlifters and those who’s strength is called upon tremendously in times of workouts or competitions, need to eat a lot of protein. Protein helps your body to build muscle and strength. While all athletes need to eat a fair share of protein, strength training athletes need more of it. Their main focus should be to find ways of incorporating more and different types of lean protein into their consumption to keep their strength and muscle mass at it’s best. Carbohydrates are also needed for energy though, so a low carb diet is NOT the same as a high protein diet.
Recovering from athletic endeavors has had some interesting findings as of late. One curious finding is that drinking chocolate milk after a workout can benefit athletes in faster recovery times. It’s true! For whatever reason, those who drank it were able to recover more quickly and work out harder and longer again than those who had just drank sports drinks or water. So grab that jug of milk after your next workout and try it out for yourself.
You need food for energy, and that energy needs to be used wisely. Eating a lot on game day or competition day is not a wise idea until AFTER the athletic feat. Before a game, race, or competition, eat small meals of mostly carbohydrates. Make sure they are simple and can be broken down and processed by your body quickly. After your competition, you will want to give your body some time to calm down, rest and recover. Once you have taken adequate time, then nourish your body with lots of protein and carbohydrates to replenish all that was lost.
Those among us who are athletic, need a different take and outlook on nutrition. This article has hopefully shown you some ways that you can take advantage of food and what it can do for your performance.