Not everyone has to worry about everyday optimal performance, but athletes do. Part of training your mind and body comes with your nutrition. There is a lot of conflicting information regarding food and nutrition for athletes.
If you ask older athletes, there is usually a story about how they evolved into healthier consumers of food (watch the video above).
Are there things you could be doing right now to improve your competitive edge? The answer is yes, and we’ve got some tips on how!
Everyone’s a little different, and everybody responds to food in different ways. What makes you feel good in competition? Do a little testing to find your optimal performance foods.
Carbs and fats give energy, and protein builds muscle. All three do a lot more for the body. To skimp on any of these is not fueling for success. There are plenty of ways to get the right amounts of carbs, proteins, and fats.
Willpower is the ability to control one’s impulses. It takes willpower to train for your sport every day. It takes willpower to study hard enough to get the best grade possible. It takes willpower to tackle the recruiting process. Nutrition is no different.
Have the willpower to eat the right foods and then challenge yourself. Can you order something healthier even though you’re at a fast-food restaurant? Can you say “no” to sugary foods right before a competition? Make it a challenge. Test yourself and get stronger!
No one is perfect. Give yourself some cheat days or some nutritional breaks. Have a little chocolate sometimes. Give yourself a dessert. Just remember the willpower muscle and don’t go overboard.
Allow yourself to feel good when you accomplish nutritional goals, especially when you feel the difference in your everyday life and in your sport. Being an athlete takes extreme work if you want to be good. Eating healthy takes work, too. Feel good about working so hard.
Do what you need to do when it comes to improving your nutrition. If you find yourself cheating on food, then plan to adjust. For example, don’t keep food that you have difficulty avoiding easily accessible. Don’t bring home the extra dessert from a restaurant.
Natural foods are the best for your body because they haven’t been tampered with. Processed foods all have additives and preservatives. When in doubt, go the natural route. Natural is better for your body, better for your health, and better for your performance!
When you can, choose the leaner version of meat. It digests faster and is better for you.
What are some of your long-term goals? Is it performance? Is it looking good? Is it feeling good? Let these goals lead the way.
Picture a lean, well-functioning body that allows you to achieve your best performance, not only when you are in high school, college, or the pros, but even beyond sports when you are well into your career.
There are enough healthy choices for you to find the best foods to fuel your body for optimal performance in sports and beyond.
What do you do if you get injured in high school? Learn some options.