Nutrition should be one of the most important parts of every athlete’s daily schedule and life. Unfortunately, it is often neglected since most athletes don’t even consider nutrition as an essential training part.
A proper, well-balanced diet is something all experts and coaches strongly recommend. There is no doubt about the importance of following the right diet plan. Knowing what and when to consume each type of food, can be your key to success. Nutrition is something that should be viewed by every athlete as an important and essential part of the training program, and also, as something that can potentially improve your overall performance.
You should consistently invest on your health and keep in mind that there is no diet that can bring you the wanted results better than eating real food and incorporating some basic “rules” into your everyday routine. Here are some nutrition tips that you, as an athlete, should keep in mind:
Balance is KEY
We’re sure you have already heard about the phrase “eat a balanced diet”, but the thing is, it couldn’t be more true. The main reason why eating a balanced diet is so important for everyone, especially the athletes, is to ensure your body gets all kinds of vitamins and mineral it needs. Even though these micro-elements might seem too small to be taken seriously, they have the potential, when being in the right amount, to transform your physical performance in a way you have never though they could.
For example, calcium is an element that keeps your bones strong and healthy. It also aids your muscles ability to contract. Different vitamins like vitamin B and E are important for carbohydrate metabolism and C is vital for your immune system. There are several other elements that strongly invest on your bone’s and muscle’s health. Keep in mind that a well-balanced diet is the diet that consists of complex carbohydrates, diary and lean meats. Also, plenty of fruits and veggies.
The importance of vitamin D
This vitamin is one of the strongest ones when it comes to your bone’s health. Many studies have also shown that vitamin D plays an important role in your muscle’s health and strength as well. That is why, people that usually have vitamin D deficiency, have some noticeable weak muscles and don’t feel enough energized to fully perform their training routine.
For this reason, every athlete should consider taking vitamin D through food and supplements if necessary. Especially during the winter times when the sun exposure (Sun is one of the biggest sources of vitamin D), is limited.
Don’t neglect protein
Protein before and after each training session is a must. Try to consume a protein-rich food before the workout, and once again after the training is over. Protein before the activity helps regulate your nitrogen balance. This element improves the uptake of protein into your muscles and we all know that protein helps preventing all kinds of muscle issues, especially muscle breakdowns.
But, you must strive for a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio after each training session. Protein might be essential for the muscle building process and recovery, but, remember, the goal is to get 4 grams of cabs for every 1 gram of protein. Carbs are important because they stimulate our insulin response which drives sugar along with amino acids into our cells.
As for the final tip regarding protein, is to choose a qualitative source that will replenish all your protein needs. A protein with high amount of nutritional values is the one that contains essential amino acids. Don’t stick to protein powders. Try to replace them with whole eggs, beef, fish, soy beans etc.