If you want to look and feel like an athlete, there are some simple rules that you must follow, one of the first of these being “eat like an athlete”. Let’s find out what it means to follow the golden rules of sports nutrition.
Don’t Work Out On An Empty Stomach
You’ll need to keep your blood sugar steady in order to have energy for a workout. It’s best not to load up on anything too large or too heavy, however. For most training, a simple piece of fruit will suffice, or a simple carbohydrate. Quick burning energy will allow you to power through your more difficult sets and recover with a little bit of energy as well. Make sure that you are staying hydrated throughout all workouts, and consider adding an electrolyte drink for longer or more strenuous activities.
Don’t Skip Breakfast!
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day; it jump starts your metabolism and gets the tone for how your body uses nutrients all throughout the day. Choose a protein and carb combo with a little bit of healthy fat for added energy, and allow your body to adjust to having this nutrition at the start of the day. You’ll stay full for hours to come, and your mid-morning workout will be more energizing and enjoyable.
Plan Your Meals For Optimal Nutrition
Having healthy ratios of proteins, carbs, and fats prepared and ready to go reduces the temptation to grab something less nutritious on the go. Stick with simple foods that you tolerate well to avoid stomach upset, and eat at least an hour before any activity or competition, so you are not at your most active on a full stomach.
Don’t Skip A Recovery Meal
If you skip out on opportunities to rebuild and recover, then you are missing out on results that you may have gotten had you not allowed this extra meal. Liquid recovery nutrition is easier to assimilate than solid food, so consume this recovery “gold” during your recovery window, which is about 60-90 minutes post workout for optimal results.
Eat A Nutrient-Dense Snack Before Bed
Nutrient-dense snacks such as healthy fats, nuts, berries, and protein will keep your blood sugar steady during the night, which will balance insulin production and keep fat from getting stored in your body unnecessarily.
Examining your food and liquid consumption, monitoring your overall health, and reviewing your fitness goals are all excellent things to do when you wish to improve your performance. If you adhere to these simple guidelines when training or competing, you will find that your strength, stamina, and endurance will improve significantly.