Achieving Proper Nutrition for Athletes

For those who exert in heavy physical activities such as sports, it is of paramount importance to put proper nutrition above all else. In a sport like cycling, running, swimming, or a combination of any of the three, we sometimes overlook that eating well is more than just devouring nutrition bars and downing hydration tablets.

As an athlete, what you intake for most of your non-training hours can make the difference between maximizing your capacity and getting rusty—or at worst, bonking. So here are a few nutrition tips from top-tier athletes that are should be key tenets of every athlete.

Quality Diet

Most endurance athletes bring bars and gels for long workouts, but what are we eating when we’re not running or off the bike? Professional trainers and ex-pros say that general health is the foundation of endurance fitness, and high-quality diet is vital for general health. Most athletes find it difficult to get leaner despite an appetite puffed up by heavy training. A high-quality diet aid training by meeting appetite in a calorically competent way.

The quality of your diet can be measured by keeping track of the following:

  • If you’re vulnerable to illness and injuries.
  • If you’re having trouble meeting body composition requirements.

On the other hand, you know that quality diet is achieved when:

  • You ingest fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates.
  • You steer clear of junk foods such as processed energy bars, gels, and fatty food.
  • You control your alcohol intake and keep caffeine to a small amount.

Meal Timing

Timing is also a crucial aspect of proper nutrition. An athlete should intake some sort of nutrition one to three hours before a training session. This varies if one performs short or long sessions. Meanwhile, what you eat after a workout is as important as what you eat before.

Things to remember:

  • Keep in mind that meal timing is one affecting factor if you’re low on energy or feel heavy before and during workouts.
  • Once you feel satiated, energetic, and light in all your workouts, you’ve hit the sweet spot.

Proper Hydration

Correct digestion, nutrient absorption, healthy skin, optimal brain power, and other traits rely on hydration. This facet is all about achieving the right amount of fluids and electrolytes to seize our performance and overall health at the same time.

Pay attention if:

  • You encounter feelings of fatigue, nausea, have dry lips and throat, and headaches hinder concentration during workouts.
  • Frequent urination or lack thereof.
  • You’ve hit the sweet spot when you’re aware of your daily hydration requirements based on your workouts and if your urine is consistently straw-colored.

Meet the Requirements

Training too much isn’t the only factor to consider when you’re tired. Plenty of athletes, despite getting the right amount of workouts, finish the day with a caloric shortage. The fear of gaining weight can lead to a plague of under-fed athletes.

Begin with fuelling your body with the right amount of food. Use nutrition guidebooks to help you estimate your daily energy requirements, which rely on height, weight loss targets, and even physical habits. For now, secure a quality breakfast composed of 800 to 1,000 calories. Your first meal of the day should comprise about a third to a half of your daily calories to avoid getting worn out in the evening and eating too much or less.

Be aware of the following:

  • Pay attention to your workouts aren’t enjoyable and don’t give you that quality feeling.
  • Pay attention if you think about food all the time and if hunger spikes at night.
  • If your performance improves, this means you’ve met the proper requirements.
  • You’ve nailed it when you recover quickly and crave sweets infrequently.