Proper nutrition is an absolute requirement for everyone, but especially for athletes. Unless you feed your body correctly before a workout, you’ll never gain full results from that workout. There are a few key nutritional guidelines that all athletes should follow. In this article we will discuss a few tips that can help to make following those guidelines easier on you.
Learn different ways to cook some of your favorite foods in a healthier manner. You may love the taste of deep fried chicken or fries, but your body doesn’t. There are always alternatives in cooking methods for foods to still provide you the taste you love without all the calories. Try baking, roasting, steaming, and broiling as alternatives to frying.
Try to limit your consumption of processed and packaged foods. These types of foods are usually high in fat, salt and refined sugars. Also, if you are cooking for a large family, it can be a lot cheaper to make meals from scratch rather than buy large numbers of packaged ready meals.
Don’t eat too many salty foods such as preserved meats, BBQ sauce, crisps, dips and processed cheese. Salt is popular with food manufacturers because it can enhance flavors and preserve food, however, diets high in salt can cause high blood pressure, dehydration and bloating. Remember, the RDI for sodium is 2300mg, about 6 teaspoons of salt.
Try to keep your snacks prepared and in a spot that you can easily get to them. When you buy your snacks, such as fruits and vegetables, cut them up and store them in containers. This will give your snack the convenience of a prepackaged snack. Instead of grabbing for a quick bag of chips, you will already have quick fruits and veggies on hand.
Nutrition experts have recommended that if you increase your carbohydrate intake it can have a positive effect on your overall diet. Since carbohydrates give your body loads of energy per serving, it is certainly a great way to compliment your current diet. It also tends to burn off much easier than fatty foods do.
Enjoy a drink now and again. Countless studies have shown that a drink now and then, whether it be a glass of wine or beer, is actually good for you. A certain amount of alcohol can help to lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease. That being said, you should aim for a low-alcohol version, which is obviously, lower in calories.
Going out to eat, but mindful of nutrition? If you’re in the mood to order something high in calories and fat, ask your waiter to divide your meal in half in the kitchen. Your waiter can put half of your meal in a “to go” container, and only bring the other half on your plate. This will help you keep yourself on track with your consumption of calories and fat. It will also let you enjoy some of the good things you love. And you’ll get to enjoy it again, for leftover!
Try not to drink too many cups of coffee in a day. The high level of caffeine from an excess amount of coffee can lead to undesirable health symptoms, such as nervousness, excessive jitters, and the inability to fall asleep at night. Because of the many undesirable effects, you should limit your coffee to no more than four cups a day.
You might have heard many negative comments about carbohydrates, but you should include good forms of carbohydrates in your daily nutritional plan. Good sources include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Whole fruits and vegetables provide your body with fiber. Whole grains contain essential vitamins and minerals, and legumes are an excellent source of low-fat protein.
Soybeans are practically miraculous in their nutritional value. They contain a moderate amount of carbohydrates, lots of good protein, and just enough fat to help you absorb the good phytochemicals like isoflavones and the omega-3 fatty acids. Eating more protein in the form of soy products will also help you avoid saturated fats and cholesterol.
Buy low fat yogurt and make sure you have a bit of it in your fridge. Yogurt is a great meal supplement that is low in calories and fat. It also tastes great and is good for your health. It is also relatively inexpensive, allowing you to keep your food budget low.
Just removing soft drinks from your diet can go a very long way to changing your tastes. The amount of sugar or sugar substitute in soft drinks is unbelievably high, and it will very quickly cause you to have a sugar addiction. This problem changes everything about what you think you want to eat.
Making big changes in your life such as going on a diet, should be accomplished with a helpful partner. Allies can come in the form of a mentor, or a friend who is also dieting. It’s important to have someone to speak to about it.
To give your metabolism a boost, try not to ever skip breakfast. Eating a well-balanced breakfast enables the body’s metabolic engine to start running early in the day, and it also provides energy the body needs to perform at peak efficiency. Consuming a healthy breakfast also helps prevent overeating when blood sugar levels drop.
Get creative when trying to add nutritional foods to your diet. Put a little fruit on top of cereal or add a few extra vegetables into spaghetti sauce. These little tricks can up the nutritional value of your meal, but you won’t even know they are there. It’s an easy way to add fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
To get the maximum health effects, try to consume as many raw foods as you possibly can. Studies have shown that many essential nutrients in foods, when cooked, are lost due to their inability to survive temperatures of around or higher than 120 degrees. Therefore, make it a point to incorporate as many raw foods as you can in your daily meals, so your body can benefit from the increased nutrient value.
In this article we have discussed some tips that can make it easier for athletes to maintain a nutritionally sound diet. Proper nutrition is an essential part of any fitness program and without it, you will never see the results you’re hoping for. Keep these tips in mind, and follow them daily for optimal results from your fitness routine.