Being an athlete has different dietary requirements than for other occupations and hobbies. Athletes burn more calories and need more fuel than the average person. However, this doesn’t mean athletes can eat whatever they like whenever they want. Athletes need to put healthy foods into their bodies to stay at top performance levels and have shorter recovery periods after working out.
Accountability for Your Nutrition
One of the most important aspects of nutrition is accountability. It doesn’t matter what type of diet you are on if you don’t keep yourself accountable. You must be confident and ready to commit to changing your dietary lifestyle. Planning your meals and meal prepping helps you keep your commitment. Create your menus based on what type of diet you want to stick to. If you’re able, prep meals and snacks ahead of time. This will make you less likely to choose something unhealthy if healthier options aren’t readily available.
Nutrition and Your Energy Level
When choosing what kind of dietary lifestyle you want to stick with, take your sport into consideration. Different sports require different needs due to different energy levels. For example, a full court game of basketball will burn around 750 calories per hour, yet weightlifting will burn only 250 calories per hour. On the same note, basketball and weightlifting also require different diets for recovery due to the types of muscles used for each sport. A good rule is to eat what you burn, but make sure it is food that is good for your sport. Weightlifters will require more protein in their diets because it is needed to maintain muscles, but it isn’t needed as much in a high energy basketball player’s diet because protein isn’t a good source of energy.
Foods with High Nutritional Value
Many diets have different requirements. As an athlete, you should only put foods with high nutritional value into your body. This will keep your body in optimal health for all areas of athleticism and allow the body to recover properly. Only eat real foods and avoid processed foods. Don’t exclude carbohydrates as an athlete because you need them for energy. Your body changes carbohydrates into a form of sugar called glucose and then stores them in your muscles as glycogen, which is then converted into energy. Choose high quality protein in your diet, such as lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, eggs, and milk. Go easy on fats. Most diets get enough fats from nuts, avocados, olives, vegetable oils, and fish. No matter what, always aim for healthy choices. For example, choose whole grain bread over white bread, or trail mix over chips.
The Importance of Staying Hydrated
A major thing that must be done to keep your body healthy and your digestive system working properly is to stay hydrated. Athletes often sweat quite a bit, so staying hydrated is even more important. How much daily water intake your body needs can vary somewhat depending on the person and their lifestyle, but it is generally recommended to drink 64 ounces of water daily. Drink water before, during, and after workouts. Chilled drinks are more easily absorbed than room temperature drinks, so keep your drink cold if possible. If your workout causes you to sweat a lot, replace your electrolytes with a sports drink. Remember that over half of the body consists of water, and it is important to stay hydrated for all bodily functions.
Make Healthy Choices for Your Body
When choosing a dietary style to complement your lifestyle, there are many different factors to consider. Make sure that you get enough types of energy sources to maintain a healthy, athletic lifestyle. Making healthy food choices is part of living an athletic lifestyle, and both will help keep you in great form. For more information about incorporating nutrition into your lifestyle, visit STR8 Training in San Marcos, TX.