There are many different aspects that go into becoming an elite athlete. Strength training, conditioning and skill development are all great ways to better your athleticism and your game, but nutrition is a very important aspect when it comes to becoming an elite athlete. What you are putting in your body will affect how your body grows and recover.
Every athlete should be monitoring what foods they are fueling their bodies with. Here are some great nutrition tips that will help you grow muscle, recover and feel energized!
Use protein as the anchor to your meals
As an athlete, especially during strength training, protein is something you should base your meals on. Protein helps promote healthy growth and recovery of your muscles. Experts say you should be getting 20-30 grams of lean protein in each meal of the day. Being consistent with eating lean protein will help you see results in the weight room, on the field, and will overall make you feel healthier.
Chicken and turkey are great sources of lean intake. Other foods that are high in protein are:
- Peanut Butter
- Cottage Cheese
- Greek Yogurt
- Protein shake supplements
Don’t forget your veggies and fruits
Even though eating proteins is vital for every athlete, don’t forget to eat your greens too. You should be trying to eat at least one serving of vegetables with every meal, as they contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that help you maintain your health. Here are some ways you can implement veggies into every meal!
Fruits are also foods that are high in nutrients and help your body recover more rapidly. They also give you the needed energy as they contain healthy sugars, and provide your body with plenty of antioxidants to protect your immune system. Every athlete should try to eat one to two servings of fruit a day!
Carbohydrates are the most important fuel for athletes. Carbs are stored in your body and give you energy every day. They are a great way to fuel your body before physical activity and are good for post-exercise since they help regenerate your body for the next day. Foods that are a great source of carbs include:
- Trail mix
- Fruits and Veggies
- Whole-grain pasta
Drink Plenty of Fluids
One part of nutrition we often forget about is the liquid drink. As an athlete, you should be hydrating your body with water each and every day. Being hydrated helps you get the most out of your workouts and outlast your opponents during games. There are many sports drinks out there that are beneficial before, during and after exercise. However, water is just as effective. Here are some ways you can stay hydrated as an athlete:
- Eat hydrating foods
- Drink half of your body weight in ounces daily
- Drink lots of water after exercise to replenish your body
- Carry a water bottle with you at all times
Nutrition plays a significant role in becoming the best athlete you can be. Being consistent, cautious and smart about what you are putting in your body will make a huge impact on your performance.
Warren Academy offers strength training, speed and agility, and conditioning programs to youth athletes in Omaha, Neb. For more information about any of these programs, visit our website today!