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Athletes: Nutrition Mistakes You Should Make!

By Sara Butler

Forget what you’ve been told when it comes to nutrition because there may be a few nutrition mistakes out there you should definitely be making! For many athletes, improving fitness and performance starts in the kitchen and sometimes the nutrition rules that are true for other people simply don’t apply to you. In fact, you may see better results if you ignore a few general nutrition rules.

Rule No. 1: No Snacks at Bedtime!

Normally it’s a good idea to skip food before bed since it adds to your daily calorie count right before you go into a period of time where your body doesn’t need extra calories. But if you’re very active, then your muscles may actually benefit from a bedtime snack.

You may want to consider snacking on a slow-release protein before bed to help promote muscle growth as you get some shut-eye. A smoothie rich in casein may just do the trick. Of course, if you don’t notice a difference or notice adverse effects, then this may not be the rule you want to break!

Rule No. 2: Go Heavy on the Vegetables at Each Meal!

Vegetables are good for you and loading up your dinner plate with them is a great way to get important nutrients your body needs, as well as fiber. But for very active people, filling up on low-calorie vegetables may not provide enough fuel for training. Plus, if you’re getting ready to head into a tough training session, a stomach full of slowly digesting vegetable fibers can make for an unpleasant experience!

To help with this predicament, limit the number of vegetables you get before, during, and right after you exercise. Don’t skip the vegetables, of course -- they’re still a very important part of your diet. But it may be a better idea to eat them at a time of the day that won’t interrupt your training.

Rule No. 3: Never Drink Calories

For most people, drinking calories is a big no-no. Sodas, smoothies, and shakes can lead to ingesting a lot of calories but not providing a feeling of satiety that will stick with you for several hours. Athletes certainly don’t have a pass to guzzle any beverage they want, but drinking calories can be beneficial in a few situations.

Having a protein shake before or right after exercise can help replenish your body’s energy stores and aid muscle recovery. Nutrient-rich drinks such as smoothies can also help to fill vitamin, calorie, and mineral voids when you’re working out heavily.

You have to eat in a way that works for you and your health goals, but sometimes rules are meant to be broken! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Denton, Tex.

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