5 Foods All Athletes Need to Add to Their Diet

An athlete is only as good as the food that they put into their bodies. If you want perform at your best then you need to play close attention to your diet, that being said what foods should be included?  Here are 5 foods all athletes need to add to their diet.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are excellent sources of energy to get you through your day.  Whole grains are also perfect for just before you work out or compete at an event.

Nut Butters

Nut butters like almond butter or peanut butter are excellent sources of protein and good fats.  They are easy to take with you as a quick snack.  You can also grab other sources of protein such as cold cooked chicken, jerky or cheese.  All of them are great snacks for when you finish working out at the gym.  Protein helps your body to maintain your metabolism and it keeps your body from feeding on lean muscle when it needs energy.  If you are injured or experience muscle fatigue protein helps you to heal.

Fruits and Lots of Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are where you get all of your micronutrients along with vitamins and minerals.  They contain little or no fat while still providing energy and fiber.  Bananas and grapes help to maintain adequate levels of potassium in your body.  Athletes need to watch their potassium it is crucial for stabilizes muscle contraction, muscle cramps are usually a result of too little potassium.

Calcium Rich Food

While most athletes get their calcium from dairy you can also get it from leafy green vegetables as well.  That being said dairy not only provides you with calcium but it also provides proteins and essential fats.  Don’t eat dairy prior to performing it takes too long to digest.  If you happen to be lactose intolerant they get calcium from vegetables or consider trying a supplement.  Calcium is necessary for bone development it also helps to protect you from injury if you play contact sports.

Get Enough Fiber

Fiber is essential for regulating your digestive tract, and it helps to keep you feeling full.  You can fiber in fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.  However as an athlete you should know which foods can help regulate the level of fiber.  Whole grains and fruits like berries or apples, nuts and legumes are all excellent sources of fiber.

Nutrition for Endurance Training

Every successful person has something extra that sets them apart from the crowd. Endurance athletes are no different else they will not be able to go that extra mile. Apart from the timing of their meals, endurance athletes require nutrients that help them all through the process of preparing for races to the recovery period after competing at events. The nutrition basics include:

  1. Carbohydrates: The nutrition for endurance training begins with the intake of carbohydrates. Considering the high-energy requirements of endurance athletes, the dependence on lots of carbohydrates as a source of fuel does not come as a surprise. The need to replace muscle glycogen means that the right amount of carbohydrates has to be taken.

How much carbohydrate an endurance athlete takes depends on the intensity of training being undergone. As expected, more intake of carbohydrate is required when an endurance athlete is on heavy training compared to periods of low-intensity training.

  1. Fats: Another nutritional requirement that works just fine for endurance athletes are fats. They are a source of energy for periods when they are resting and do not train much. Fats are not only great as a source of energy during such periods, but they also offer proper immune function. Typically, they are taken in conjunction with carbohydrates.

To optimize fats, endurance athletes are expected to get between 25 to 30 percent of their daily calories from fats. This includes the options of vegetable oils, avocados, fatty fish, and so on. Taken in the right proportion, endurance athletes not only get the calories they need, but they also enjoy immune protection.

  1. Proteins: As with most athletes, the consumption of protein is necessary for the many benefits the nutrient offers. They are obviously not a primary source of energy for supporting long training sessions but their value cannot be overlooked.

Proteins are great because of the protection they offer to endurance athletes. They support the development of an athlete’s muscles as well as enhance the recovery process after races. It is important that the right quantity is taken daily in order to remain in top shape and be able to compete effectively.

Endurance athletes know that training alone cannot keep them at the top of their game. Taking the right nutrient in the right quantity daily also plays its role. The nutrients on this list ensure that the calories required are provided in addition to getting the right amount of proteins for muscle development and recovery.

 

Tom Brady’s High Performance Diet

If you followed Super Bowl 2019 and the New England Patriot’s victory, you wouldn’t be surprised that the media started to obsess over all things Tom Brady. His diet was no exception and was covered by dozens of major media outlets and bloggers challenging themselves to eat like him for a week. I guess the hype isn’t really surprising considering Brady is a top NFL athlete participating in his 9th Superbowl (the life span of the average NFL player is around three years). So, anything he says that’s related to diet or fitness will be eaten up by the media and his fans.

So, what’s all the hype about his diet?

Tom Brady revealed his diet in his book, The TB12 Method: It’s a diet that is abundant in antioxidant rich fruits, vegetables and fiber-rich foods. The antioxidant rich diet aims to relieve inflammation as much as possible.

The TB12 method is also known to be very challenging and its health benefits are questioned by some nutritionists because it excludes certain food groups. In a nutshell, it is an anti-inflammatory, plant-based Mediterranean inspired diet with lots of alkaline rich foods.  Here is a closer look at it.

Although the high fruit and vegetable content of Brady’s diet is undoubtedly healthy, some people have questioned if it’s really necessary to cut out certain foods and that you can reap the same benefits without cutting them out. It seems that most of the restrictions aren’t really based on scientific evidence, based on anecdotal advice or based on Tom’s personal experiences.

Following the TB12 method means you will forego:

  • Bread, pasta or anything with gluten
  • Cooking oils, so nothing is fried
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy
  • ‘Nightshades’ like Peppers, Eggplant, tomatoes
  • White potatoes and white rice
  • Grain-fed meat
  • Mushrooms
  • Corn

You also have to minimize your intake of ‘acidic’ foods like Pineapple, strawberries, oranges, chickpeas, walnuts, yoghurt and iodized salt.

It also has other bizarre restrictions like not eating fruits with other foods, no eating protein with carbs, no drinking water with meals and no eating less than 3 hours before bed. The diet is so restrictive and challenging that it’s probably easier to list the foods you aren’t allowed than the foods that you are allowed.

Brady also claims to drink up to 25 glasses of water a day (just not with a meal!). His diet on a typical day looks something like:

  • Start the day with 20 ounces of water
  • Breakfast is a smoothie made from bananas, berries, nuts
  • A typical lunch is fish with vegetables
  • Dinner is again, lots of vegetables
  • Snacks are mostly fruit or protein shakes
  • No dessert

So, is it really worth following TB12? The goal of TB12 is to maximize intake of alkali rich foods and avoid acidic foods as much as possible. It aims to help balance your blood’s pH which is largely based on the minerals in the foods you consume. Some research studies have shown that alkali rich diets are linked to reduced risk of hypertension, diabetes and arthritis. However, the results would probably not be significantly worse if you just stuck to a plant-based diet without cutting off all those food groups.

Eating to Build Muscle 

Eating to Build Muscle There is more to building your muscles than simply working out at the gym. Eating to build muscle is an important aspect of the muscle building process. A proper diet helps you get closer to your desired goal. Keeping the more than 600 muscles of your body in good shape can be achieved by doing the following:

  1. A Healthy Intake of Calories: Your body burns lots of energy during workouts and they need to be replaced. To grow your muscles without stress, it is important that you eat more calories than your body is able to burn during workouts. This is to prevent your body from breaking down your muscles as a source of energy. Lots of people that set out to build their muscles have suffered the consequence of eating fewer calories than their body uses up during workouts.Taking advantage of an online calculator will help you determine how much calories your body requires daily based on your weight, metabolism as well as how intense your workout is.
  1. Do Not Forget Your Proteins: A healthy diet is not complete for a muscle builder without protein being a part of it. The fact that they are needed for the repair and building of muscle tissue makes protein an important part of your diet.Eating plant-based protein is recommended because of the fiber it contains. Other sources of protein include diary, eggs, chicken, beans and seafood. Hemp seeds are great too since they are minimally processed compared to processed sources of protein with sugars. Protein also helps to curb hunger cravings when spread throughout the day.
  1. Water is Essential: You need to be effective while at the gym and taking enough water guarantees this. It may come as a surprise to you that 79 percent of your muscle is water. With this detail in mind the need to take enough water is obvious.Dehydration results in fatigue, brain fog among others. For your body to function properly during the muscle building process, it is important to drink enough water in order to achieve the right balance of fluids and electrolytes. This is in addition to its ability to reduce the tendency to overeat which may result on your muscle being covered with fat.

Eating right goes with proper muscle building workouts. After all the effort put in towards the building of your muscle, it is important to make sure that the hard work put in pays by eating a healthy diet.