The Five Golden Nutrition Rules for Every Athlete
If you are serious about your performance, you need to maintain top notch sports nutrition habits. Not only is nutrition important for your general wellbeing, but it also helps your body to process the stress of everyday life, and still come out on top. This means eating a healthy diet packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals, and exercising in the most effective and safe way, but let’s look at the five golden rules for sports nutrition and wellness.
1. Never work out on an empty stomach.
You need to keep your blood sugar steady, and so you need to eat something within the two hours prior to training. If your workout is going to finish within 45 minutes, grab a piece of fruit that your stomach is familiar with and can easily digest. For anything up to 90 minutes, adding an electrolyte drink 1 halfway through will ensure you remain hydrated and have a constant flow of carbs. If you’re going for two hours, you’ll need liquid hydration and some form of solid food, such as a bar, a boiled potato, or rice.
2. Never miss breakfast.
Breakfast sets the tone for how your body uses nutrients throughout the day. If you’re not a breakfast person, start with something small like a piece of fruit or an egg, and keep that up for a week. Your body will adjust, and then you can start to add more.
3. Always plan your meals for the days leading up to your event.
Planning for the two to three days prior to the event guarantees your body has everything it needs to get you to the finish line. According to Certified Sports Nutritionist Craig David, owner of the Max Muscle Sports Nutrition franchise in Boulder, Colorado, ‘We see so many athletes “wing it” and then wonder why they bonk or get dizzy or feel lethargic on race day.’
4) Never skip your recovery meal.
By skipping recovery nutrition, you’re basically skipping out on your workout results. You need to eat 30-45 minutes after a session, as this will stabilize your blood sugar and keep your body moving forward!
5) Have a nutrient-dense snack before bed.
You should always eat something that won’t spike your blood sugar, but help keep it from dropping during the night. This means healthy fats, nuts, berries, or protein.