eat healthy, nutritious meals, despite evidence to the contrary. As an athlete, however, an ideal diet can vary based on your fitness goals. You’ll need to adjust your diet with nutrition for athletic performance in mind.
Otherwise, your body won’t receive the macro- or micronutrients it needs to help you build muscle or lose weight.
Here are five easy performance nutrition tips you can use to accomplish your athletic goals for the year. With these tips, you can fuel your body with the compounds it needs. Read on to learn more!
- Stay Hydrated
As you begin using these nutrition tips, make sure to have a water bottle handy. Nutrition is more than just food. You need to remain hydrated to ensure peak athletic performance, too.
Try consuming half your weight in ounces of water each day. Otherwise, consult a dietician to determine how much water you should consume daily.
Water should remain your main source of hydration, especially before and during workouts. Otherwise, sugary beverages can impact your athletic performance and fitness goals.
Consider adding sports drinks that are rich in electrolytes to your routine, too. Unfortunately, you’ll lose electrolytes as you work out and sweat.
Drinking sports drinks that contain electrolytes can help you replenish your levels. Combine your sports drink with water to ensure you don’t get dehydrated.
- Adjust Your Portions
As you begin preparing your nutrition plan, make sure to consider your portions.
How much you eat can determine how well you perform as an athlete. Too much food can cause fatigue, impacting your athletic performance. Not enough food can cause vitamin deficiencies, potentially triggering complications.
Before that happens, plan to consume balanced meals that feature protein, fruit, vegetable, healthy fat, and carbohydrates. Consider how much you’re eating of each. Try to remain consistent with your portion, too.
Plan to consume three meals a day, along with a few healthy snacks in between meals.
Your portions will vary based on the sport you participate in or the fitness goals you’ve set. Consider consulting a dietician to determine the ideal portions for your athletic goals.
Try planning your meals ahead of time. Meal planning will ensure you’re eating the right ratio of proteins, fats, and carbs. Otherwise, you might struggle to remain on track with your performance nutrition plan.
You might grab processed snacks and energy bars instead of eating whole foods if you’re in a rush. Try meal planning over the weekend to ensure you’re eating balanced meals.
You can also use a meal tracker to confirm you’re balancing your macronutrient intake.
- Use Supplements
In some cases, the meals you eat each day aren’t enough to ensure you’re receiving the vitamins and minerals your body needs to perform. In case of deficiency, it may be useful to take supplements for a limited period. It is however important to maintain a varied and balanced diet.
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle weakness
- Personality changes
- Mental confusion/forgetfulness
- Unsteady movements
- Weight loss
- Numbness or tingling
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Irregular heartbeats
Check your micronutritional status to determine if you have a deficiency. Otherwise, taking supplements your body doesn’t need can lead to side effects. A nutrition test can help you determine which supplements you need to add to your routine.
In the meantime, eat the rainbow! Consuming colorful fruits and vegetables can help provide your body with different vitamins and minerals.
- Choose Whole Foods
Whole foods are foods that haven’t undergone processing or completed mineral processing. Prepare your meals at home instead of eating out to ensure you know exactly what’s in each meal.
Otherwise, processed foods often contain additives that can trigger inflammation. Whole foods, on the other hand, can provide essential nutrients to help your body function optimally.
Maintain a healthy, balanced diet by eating fruits and vegetables, too.
Fruits can help you curb sweet tooth cravings. Otherwise, processed sugars can affect your fitness goals. Instead, add fresh fruit to your snacks between meals.
Choose fruits that are high in antioxidants to fight inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods can help your body recover better after vigorous exercise sessions. Boosting your natural recovering processes will help you hit the gym sooner than expected.
Unfortunately, only one in 10 adults consumes enough fruits or vegetables.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. However, only 9% of adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables. Only 12% of adults eat the recommended amount of fruit.
Don’t forget to consume enough protein as well. Proteins, which are made of amino acids, are necessary for muscle gain and maintenance. But in order for proteins to be used properly, it is important to consume enough energy through the intake of carbohydrates and quality fats.
- Rest and Digest
Remember, nutrition is more than just the foods you eat. As part of your plan, give your body time to rest, too.
Otherwise, your body will struggle to digest what you’ve eaten. You could experience bloating, gas, and cramps if you’re not resting.
Take a breath. Chew slowly. Chewing will allow food to mix with your saliva, which kick-starts the digestive process.
Better Nutrition for Athletic Performance: Use These Tips for Success
Following a balanced diet can help you accomplish your fitness goals for the year. Prioritize your nutrition for athletic performance. Make sure you’re fueling your body with the protein, vitamins, and minerals it needs to function optimally.
Remember, nutritional testing can help you make informed improvements.
Want to learn more? Check out our Sports Performance Test today to discover how to improve your performance!