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Isak Akervall
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July 12, 2017

Eat to Perform: Nutrition Tips for Athletes

athlete nutrition

Nutritionists and healthcare professionals have long emphasized the importance of balanced diets in athletes, but these warnings often go unheeded. A healthy diet can, in fact, be the key to unlocking your optimum athletic performance, but probably not in the ways you would think.

Carbs on Carbs

Poor diets can lead to  health complications that negatively affect athletic performance.  If you’re body isn’t receiving the proper amount of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins then your energy level will be significantly lower. So, what is the proper amount? There is no perfect percentage of carbs, fats, and proteins. It depends on your body type and level of training.  As a guideline, carbohydrate needs will vary from 5 to 10 grams per kilogram(2.2 pounds) of body weight per day with training ranging from one hour per day to five hours or more,

Rapid Recovery

All of this training leads to controlled damage to your muscles, such as tearing, Your body needs a nutritious diet to repair and build up muscle. Depriving your body of the protein and fats can result in prolonged recovery periods. Refuel pp to two hours after exercising to optimize muscle recovery. 

Immune System Suppression

Training and physical activity produces stress hormones. These hormones are combated when your body releases energy stores, such as fat. Yet, if these hormone levels remain too high for too long, you put your immune system at risk. Low blood sugar is one of the main ways that stress hormones are regulated, however over consumption of  proteins and carbs can also stifle your immune system. This is why eating a well balance diet to maintain blood sugar levels is integral for athletes. 

Hydration

As an athlete, you lose a lot of fluids from sweating. It's important to drink water to replenish lost liquid and regulate your body temperature. Most sport’s professionals suggest that you consume 7-10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes. 

Sports Drinks

Although they tend to be high in calories and sugar, sports drinks, provide athletes with electrolytes. Electrolytes are lost in your sweat and can help to provide energy and longer spans of performance . Drinking too much of these drinks can negatively affect your blood sugar, but using them in moderation can significantly benefit athletes. You can even try to make your own healthy version - check out this DIY guide.


Depriving your body of proper nutrients will weaken your immune system and hinder your performace. While it may seem overemphased in today's world of fad diets, eating healthy WILL improve your performace. Try and see for yourself! If you've already adopted a healthy diet, what are your favorite post-game meals?

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