With a quick Google search of words like “nutrition” and “diet,” you are sure to find an unlimited number of resources ready to teach you how to cut calories, lose weight, and get shredded. This proposes a dilemma if you are searching for information on how to fuel your body, improve your performance, and lift heavy ass weights. The airwaves are so saturated with weight-loss information, it is challenging to find a reliable resource to learn how food can transform you as an athlete.
Here are a few thing to consider when eating to fuel your performance and build your strength:
1. Nutrient Quality
The quality of your food choices determines how optimally your body functions. A vehicle will run farther and smoother on a higher grade of fuel. Your body is no different. Choosing foods that are higher in the vitamins and minerals that are essential to your health will go a long way in improving your performance.
2. Meal Timing
Nutrition is arguably the most essential factor for recovery after your training. Use the 60 – 90 minute window before and after your workouts to get in a combination of protein, high-quality carbs, and healthy fats!
Keeping track of your sleep, water intake, calories/macros, and energy levels in relation to your strength and performance can teach you a lot about your individual needs. The more consistently you track these factors, the easier it becomes to analyze the data and build habits to propel you forward toward your goals.
The benefits of hydrating are incredibly valuable to you as an athlete. Hydration aids in digestion, improves energy, lubricates joints, and promotes muscle growth — just to name a few relevant benefits. Needless to say, the impact of proper hydration on your training will be HUGE.
5. Calories / Macros
Building strength requires an athlete to have “enough in the tank.” In order to ensure that you are eating enough food, counting calories (or if you want to get specific, macros) is recommended. Using a food tracker like @myfitnesspal makes this process simple and easy!
Taking the time to improve your diet, sleep and recovery and track the results is one of the most advantageous changes you can make as an athlete. Our advice is to not overwhelm yourself with too much at one time.
Choose one of the 5 tips above and get started today!