Reaching Optimal Performance through your Diet

Reaching Optimal Performance through your Diet

Your athletic training should start at the table not at the gym.

The most important part of an athlete isn’t how much you lift, how fast you run or how intense you train. All of those are important, however all of those things will be wasted if you neglect your diet. In order to train like an athlete and become an athlete, you absolutely must start at the table.

Your individual dietary requirements will defer depending upon your particular sport. That is simply because each sport requires different things from your body and therefore your diet. This initial post will simply address the dietary needs of high endurance sports, the dietary requirements for low impact anaerobic sports will be addressed in my next post. This will give you a starting point to ensure that your body has everything it needs for optimal performance.

High endurance sports include popular sports like running, martial arts, soccer, bicycling and swimming as well as other similar activities. In order to maintain the high level of stamina that’s needed for these types of sports you need to eat right so that your body can maintain its energy requirements. High endurance sport athletes, unlike me get the luxury of having a higher carbohydrate need. Yes I did say that with a little envy.

As you know, each person is individual so you may need to adjust slightly depending on how you feel. As a starting point average you’ll want to consume 60% carbohydrates, 25% fats and 15% proteins. Don’t go crazy yet, just because your diet allows you to have 60% carbohydrates doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind. You need the right carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Carbohydrates should be 90% complex, this is your grains, pastas and vegetables. These are the carbohydrates that create the stored energy in your body that allows you to function athletically without losing your energy supply. Simple carbs on the other hand are great for recovery and includes fruits and sport drinks. You should at all times avoid any carbs that come in processed forms.

Your fat intake should be a variety of healthy fats. This includes avocados, nuts, seed, olives and certain oils such as olive oil and peanut oil. You can also use fatty fish to make up your total fat, such as mackerel, salmon and trout.

For your protein requirement, you’ll want to choose lean proteins. These include such options as legumes, nut butters and white meats such as chicken. Protein powders are also a way to add a little protein to make up your total protein. If you use a protein powder, make sure that you choose one of the lower protein choices as protein powders can cause you to go over your needed protein requirements.

I will be discussing the dietary requirements for anaerobic sports in my next post. Upcoming post out further in the future will include the specifics of nutrient timing. Nutrient timing will probably be split into 3 or 4 post so that I can concentrate on one section of nutrient timing to give a more detailed understanding.