“It’s not a short-term diet.
It’s a longterm lifestyle change.”
In a sport where food is fuel, we sometimes forget that eating well is more than just ‘magic’ supplements, bars and salt pills. Let’s do a quick calculation: If you get eight hours of sleep a night (and most people do not), you’re awake for 112 hours a week. A 20-hour/week training regimen leaves you with 92 non-training hours (more if you train less). That’s a good chunk of your waking life not spent eating gels and drinking sports drinks.
As an endurance machine, what you put in your mouth during those 92+ hours can make the difference between functioning at your best and getting rusty—or at worst, breaking down.
Good nutrition is important for everyone, but athletes, in particular, feel firsthand how not eating properly can affect performance. Their need for quality calories is greater than the average person. If you’re an athlete who lets good nutrition fall down on the priority list, consider the ways it can impact both your performance and health.
Carbohydrates are involved in regulating your blood sugar and glycogen level in your muscles, which is vital for preventing muscle fatigue. Fat provides essential fatty acids, improves immune function, regulates hormones, improves brain function and mood, helps build stronger bones and your body uses it as an energy source. In fact, it can provide up to 75 percent of the energy endurance athletes need for long-term aerobic performance. Protein helps build new tissue, absorb harder training loads, better assimilate vitamins, and is also used as an energy source.
For fun this week, here is a sample guide of ideas to inspire your dinners:
You can find tasty recipes for each of these in the section at the bottom of the page.
• Meatless Monday
• Taco Tuesday
• Around The World Wednesday
• Crockpot Thursday
• Fifteen Minute Friday
• Seafood Saturday
• Sheet-pan Sunday