By Sue Kruger
The right nutrition is important for everyone and even more important for athletes. Eating the right foods at the right time can mean the difference between a high-performance athlete and an athlete that struggles with sluggishness and poor performance. When you are getting the best possible nutrition for your body, you recover faster, perform better, and have better energy levels. The right nutrition will also prevent you from getting sick often.
If you want to be a high-performance athlete, take a look at these top tips for your ideal sports nutrition.
1. Get the help of a professional nutritionist.
A professional nutritionist will be the best person to evaluate your nutrition and other dietary needs. They will look at your body and its functioning as a whole and also consider your sport type or training routines. It is truly valuable to have a professional guide you in the right direction when it comes to your nutrition needs.
2. Plan your daily meals and snacks.
If you are not a planner by nature, this may be a tough tip to follow, but you will be surprised at how much easier everything will be if you plan. Planning takes the guessing out of your daily meals and is very convenient. You can prepare meals ahead of time and just heat them up or grab and go when it is time to eat. If you take one day every week to plan your meals and prepare your food, you will find the whole process a lot less overwhelming.
3. Eat the right food and at the right time for your sport.
Not all athletes have the same needs when it comes to nutrition and energy. As already mentioned, a professional nutritionist will be able to help you with what exactly the best eating habits and foods will be. It is very important that you take into account how often you need to eat, what types of food you need to eat for optimal energy levels and performance, and how to plan your meals correctly for the best possible results.
4. Consistency is key.
As with many things in life, consistency is your best bet for success. Our bodies learn routines and adapt to what we do and how we do it. It works the same way with your sports nutrition needs. Once you have found the best combination of when to eat and what to eat, stick to it. It may take some trial-and-error, but once you have found your ideal balance, keep with it. Your body will appreciate it and you will keep performing at your best.
5. Eating breakfast is a must, no matter what.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is a saying that a lot of us grew up hearing. The thing is - it is true. The benefits of eating breakfastfar outweigh any excuses or reasons for not eating breakfast. Do you want to feel less sluggish and more energised for the day? Eat breakfast. Do you want to wake up your muscles and brain before your morning workout or training session? Eat breakfast. Want to improve concentration and your metabolism? Eat breakfast.
6. Don’t neglect the fresh vegetables and fruits.
When preparing for a competition or race, many athletes tend to focus on their carbohydrate and protein intake. Vegetables and fruits often get left behind. This is a big mistake. Most of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your body needs to function and perform well are found in fruits and vegetables. When planning your meals and snacks, work in fresh produce to make sure that you get exactly what your body needs to get you that first prize.
7. Keep a food journal.
One final thing worth mentioning is a food journal. If you are struggling to find the right balance of foods and meal intervals, keep a journal of what and when you eat, and how your body responds. This will help you track what works and what does not. Your body is unique and even if you are doing the same sport as someone else, your needs will be different. Try it and see if it works.
These tips are just a few things to pay attention to. There are many more tipsthat can be of value, but that will require a lot more reading and I know you want to get out there and be active. Now, get started on that planning and get it out of the way so you can start performing at your best while keeping your body healthy and happy. Happy nutritioning!