Everyone knows athletes should follow a strict well-balanced diet in order to fully enhance their athletic performance and be able to reach their goals. If you’re an athlete or someone aiming to become one in the future, you probably know that every meal counts.
Each type of food you consume or meal you prepare is either sabotaging your athletic training completely or helping you be one step closer to your main body goals. Most of the foods you consume should contain many nutritional values and be able to repair your muscles and boost your energy levels.
Don’t get us wrong, by saying “energy-boosting” foods, we don’t mean energy drinks or power-snacks that pretty much make you think they can “guarantee” you a healthy way of receiving all your energy levels you need… Did you know most of the already-prepared energy drinks can potentially cause you many health-related issues and put your body in a dangerous fat-storing state?
That is why is really important to check the nutrition labels of each food your purchase. Choosing natural elements over processed ones is something that should be into everyone’s mind, especially on the mind of an athlete aiming to be the best. Find below a list of the types of foods that you should always try to skip and some other food suggestion so you can replace the first ones.
Foods high in fructose corn syrup
The most popular products best representing this food category are the gummy worms and many other fast pick-me-up sweet products that seem to deliver you a dose of energy. In reality, they are filled with processed sugar and also empty calories. Unfortunately, they contain zero nutritional values! It doesn’t matter whether the sweet snack you choose to purchase contains high-fructose syrups, artificial sweeteners or even real sugar. They seriously promote dangerous fat build-up around your vital organs…
As an athlete, you should see each meal as a great opportunity to replenish your body needs. Start making some basic calculations of the nutritional value your meal contains. First check if those meals are natural and doesn’t contain more than 20 percent processed products. Then, find a drink that suits it. And by that, we mean water or a natural ice tea!
Diet soda is one of the most common meal accompanies that people usually prefer to use. Despite the fact there is hardly any one that doesn’t know how much damage it may cause. Soda or diet soda contains artificial sweeteners that are one of the main causes of diabetes, obesity and heart-related problems. They have the power to trick your mind into thinking you’re consuming real food. Since it is more than a hundred times sweeter than a natural, real sweet thing, it makes your body start produce insulin (fat storage hormone).
If you think that only animal protein is complete and superior to every other plant-based option, is wrong. A complete protein is called the one that is comprised with all of the ten essential amino acids. These acids cannot be created by our body, so, we’ve got to take them from different food sources.
Keep in mind that these amino acids cannot only be found in dietary sources. There are several plants that are great sources of complete proteins too. When compared with dietary products, plant based proteins have lower risk to cause serious inflammation and weaken the immune system.
Also, the body spends less energy to process plant-based proteins. This means you’ll have more energy to use for your athletic performance. Consuming all day only animal-based proteins or protein powders is something no experts recommends doing. Try to swap out any kind of animal –based protein powder for beans, peas, seeds, nuts, lentils etc. If you really prefer consuming dietary products, try to keep them as natural as you can. Also, don’t include milk/cheese on every meal. Balancing natural animal-based proteins with plant-based ones, is what you should do.