An athlete’s body requires the best possible fuel to recover from all the strenuous training and competition. Research has shown that most successful athletes are committed to a healthy and balanced diet. Here are a few simple nutrition tips to keep in mind:
1. Reduce Consumption of Refined Foods
Refined foods like packaged chips, baked goods, white bread and candy do not sustain the necessary energy levels that are required for athletic performance. Many processed foods, especially those with high-fructose corn syrup, stimulate spikes in blood-sugar levels, which can be detrimental to your energy levels and overall health. Refined foods also tend to contain processed oils such as hydrogenated vegetable oils, which can cause inflammation of the muscles and joints. At Whole Foods Market there is no high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils in any product in the store!
Natural, unrefined foods that contain whole grain ingredients are the best choices for athletes as they are rich in nutrients.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Athletes should strive to follow a balanced diet at all times. While preparing for any athletic activity, especially competition, there is no room for compromise. Consumption of “junk” food or empty calories can hinder performance and slow recovery.
On the go? Try our new line of prepared meals called Whole Foods Market Fit. These chef-created recipes are made with the freshest seasonal ingredients and are the perfect fit for your active lifestyle. Meals are high protein, and you can choose from a variety of grain-free, calorie controlled, low sodium and dairy-free options! Available daily in the refrigerated part of our prepared foods department.
3. Eat Early and Often
Research shows that foods consumed early in the morning are more likely to be converted to heat energy rather than stored fats. Skipping breakfast tends to cause overeating in the evening, which can lead to the storage of fats, because the body will not immediately need the calories that are consumed.
Eating frequently and in small quantities is ideal for an athlete’s nutrition and will provide sustained energy throughout the day. Plus, since you are eating frequently, your body can tap into easily accessible energy whenever it is needed for training or workout sessions.
Stock up on Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value® products! You’ll find high quality choices at value prices every day of the year!
4. Include More Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet
Fruits and vegetables contain fiber that is necessary for the normal functioning of the body. They also contain nutrients that are effective in helping the body maintain fitness levels. That said, don’t be fooled by fruit juices, they can be high sugar with little to no fiber.
Eating fruits and vegetables also helps in recovery, especially after a training session—leafy greens are especially good at bringing your body back to an alkaline state.
5. Drink More Water
We all realize that water is important, but do you know why? Hydration actually increases blood volume and lowers body temperature improving overall performance.
Add lemon to your water for extra benefits such as improved digestion, detoxification, and balanced pH levels.
Try our electrolyte water! It’s deionized water with added electrolytes for optimum hydration that will keep you going strong. Plus at $0.89 it’s a steal! Bored of plain water, try Whole Foods Market Lime Italian Sparkling Mineral Water. It’s a fizzy flavorful zero-calorie refresher!
For more wellness tips and great healthy recipes visit our Healthy Eating Website.