As a fitness enthusiast or someone who’s trying to get back in shape, you need to be mindful of the food you consume. Nutrition is tightly connected with athletic performance. That is one of the main reasons why you need to be careful about what and when you eat because it can affect your overall performance.
If you want to improve and elevate your athletic performance, you’ll need to make some changes in your diet. To help you achieve this, we gathered some tips that can be useful to you. Let’s check them out.
1. Time your meals
The only way you can maximize the benefits of your workouts is if you time your meals strategically. This means no skipping meals, no eating whatever, and no eating whenever.
Let’s start with the first meal of the day – breakfast. Many people tend to skip this meal because they don’t feel hungry or they don’t have time for it. But regardless of how cliché it may sound, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Your breakfast should be two or three hours before the workout, just like any large pre-workout meal. And as for what you should eat for breakfast, the answer is simple – carbohydrates. This food group is great for boosting your energy levels and allowing you to exercise longer and more intensely.
For other pre-workout meals, you can eat a balanced meal with healthy fats, complex carbs, and lean protein.
Post-workout meals are equally as important. Don’t forget to eat a snack or a meal that contains protein and fast-absorbing carbs within 45 minutes of your workout. These types of foods will help your muscles recover faster.
2. Meal size matters
Just like timing your meals can help you boost your athletic performance, so can sizing them correctly. We can divide meals into two groups – large and small.
Large meals should include breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These large meals take longer to digest and that’s why you shouldn’t exercise at least two to three hours after them.
Smaller meals are those you eat between these larger ones and they are usually snacks. Keep in mind that snacks are never a good substitute for larger meals. Their job is to give you boosts of energy and curb your appetite until your next large meal.
Also, remember that sugary snacks and sodas are not considered good snacks. Instead, try eating nuts, dry fruit, granola, protein bars, and other healthy snacks that will leave you sated for longer.
3. Prioritize macro and micronutrients
Macronutrients should be essential parts of our diets since they are primary sources of energy. They include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and choosing foods rich in these nutrients is crucial if you want to elevate your athletic performance.
When it comes to protein, choose lean protein sources such as turkey, chicken, and fish. Other plant-based options include legumes and tofu.
Don’t be afraid to incorporate fats in your diet as well. Fats support hormone production and improve blood cholesterol levels. The best sources of fat are avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are carbohydrates and your body needs them.
Vitamins and minerals which are also known as micronutrients are also an important part of your diet. You can get them through a variety of fruit and vegetables.
It’s really important to incorporate all these nutrients into your everyday meals. But if you don’t cook, don’t worry. You can always order from healthy meals delivery in Sydney.
4. Don’t forget to hydrate
Staying hydrated is yet another important factor for boosting athletic performance. Drinking enough water will help you recover faster. So, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water.
You should drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily. And when you exercise you should drink even more water. Since you sweat during workouts, that means that water evaporates even faster from your skin and you need to replenish it.
Before and after every workout you should drink two to three cups of water. And while you’re working out, make water breaks every 20 minutes.
This may sound too much right now, but this amount of water will help your body get rid of toxins. And eliminating toxins from our body lowers the chance of illnesses.
5. Listen to your body
Improving your athletic performance with food is possible. However, we’re all different and not everyone will be able to achieve this right away. That’s why it’s crucial to listen to your body.
Listen to how your body is reacting to different types of foods, whether or not meal times and sizes work for you. Keep track of everything and make adjustments according to your body’s needs. If you need to, keep a diary where you will track food intake, meal times and sizes, types of foods, and so on.
By timing your meals, considering meal sizes, prioritizing macro and micronutrients, staying hydrated, and, above all, listening to your body, you can improve your athletic performance. So, it’s time to start eating a healthy and well-balanced diet.
About the Author:
Erin Lane is a creative writer and lifestyle blogger from Canberra, Australia. She is a hard-working, organized, dedicated professional interested in learning new things. With five years of experience in writing, Erin has covered numerous topics, including health, fashion, fitness, makeup, home improvement, decoration, business, and finances. Reach out to her by email: [email protected] | Facebook | X