For athletes, diet is just as important as training, to compete at peak performance. While many elite athletes may pick specific foods based on their sport, they all follow similar diet tips in order to maintain top shape for competitions. Registered Dietitian, Natalie Rizzo shared some nutrition tips with Fitness Magazine on how top athletes manage their diets when competing. Though you may not consider yourself an “elite athlete”, you can take some of their tips to make sure you’re eating right to enhance any athletic performance!
It’s important for athletes to pick foods that will fuel their workout – not hurt it. While top athletes need to consume an extreme amount of calories to power through a workout or competition, these calorie sources are carefully selected. Instead of using these calories on sugary snacks or fried foods, athletes make sure to make healthy choices like eating plenty of fruits, veggies, protein, and of course carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates make up 55-65% of an elite athlete’s diet. In order for athletes to try and incorporate a healthy amount of carbs in their diet, dietitians have determined an easy way to divide a plate based on activity level. For easy training days, a plate should consist of 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 grains and 1/4 protein. For moderate days, vegetables, grains and proteins should each be 1/3 of the plate. On hard days, grains should be 1/2 the plate and vegetables and protein should each be 1/4. While you can make your plate however you want, we recommend making a pasta meal and adjusting your protein and veggie pasta additions, as needed! Try this with our Lemon-Garlic Pasta with Grilled Veggies or Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Salad.
In addition to eating properly to prep for a workout, it’s just as important to make smart food choices when recovering from a workout. Dietitians recommend eating proteins and carbs after a workout to help with muscle recovery. It is also recommend avoiding trying any new foods, as it could lead to an upset stomach. Our Healthy Chicken Parmesan or Whole Wheat Elbow Pasta and Chicken are great options for recovery meals.
Whether you’re a top athlete or like to take a jog occasionally, following these nutrition tips can ensure your body is ready for any athletic performance! Read more about these tips here.
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