Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nutrition Advice for Athletes

If you're a veteran endurance athlete then you are most likely aware of how important nutrition is to overall health as well as peak performance in your athletics. Still we can all use a refresher!

For those of you who are new to running, triathlons or other endurance sports, read up!

1. Eat or drink protein at every meal - you'll be more full and the extra protein will help replenish your muscles after a long workout.

2. Choose whole grains - It's better for your overall health and also the whole grains take longer to digest so your body absorbs more nutrients contributing to more energy for your workouts.

3. Choose foods with the least amount of ingredients (whole foods are always healthier than precooked or prepackaged meals).

4. Eat lean meats (lots of seafood for the high amount of Omega-3's, chicken, turkey, lean beef).

5. Avoid cereals packed with excess sugar. Instead try healthier options like Kashi and Nature's Path.

6. Lots of fruits and veggies! At least 5-6 servings a day (mixed variety is best).

7. For sessions longer than 60 minutes - refuel with gatorade or energy gels such as GU or Cliff Shots as needed. After the workout, eat some healthy carbs (for example: carrots, an apple, a banana, G2, wheat toast with nutella) within 30 minutes of the session for maximum recovery). You also will want to have some protein to recover from tougher workouts. Chocolate milk is an ideal recovery drink since it has both protein and carbs!

8. Drink lots of water! On longer runs exceeding 10 or 12 miles it is ideal to bring along at least a small bottle.

9. Avoid fried foods or new foods before races and key workouts as you risk poor performance due to GI issues.

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