If you eat like an elite athlete, train like an elite athlete, believe in your abilities, only then will you will have the potential to perform like an elite athlete (assuming genetics are on your side). What does an elite athlete’s diet look like? I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many exceptional runners and triathletes and their food diaries all share the same characteristics:
- Their weight does not fluctuate during the off season. They know how to fuel their body; never over or under feeding it. Their muscle mass stays whole because they cross and strength train.
- Water is their beverage of choice and they hydrate all day long, with and between meals.
- They do not run their engines cold in the morning. They always fuel with a light breakfast, sports drink or bar after the evening’s fast so that they are able to maximize their early morning training efforts.
- They eat 3 meals/day which includes a big breakfast and 2-3 snacks/day. Their meals include a good protein source (low fat milk, yogurt, cheese, meat, beans or legumes) to support continuous muscle repair and growth.
- They replenish the fuel used by their muscle within 30 minutes of a workout, before showers yet after stretching.
- Their menus are well varied, unprocessed, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in antioxidants and omegas, rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and carbohydrates. In other words they choose nutrient dense foods 90% of the time. Yes many do have a sweet tooth, yet even the desserts they choose have a healthy bent such as oatmeal and raisin cookies, low fat ice cream with peanuts, and whole grain, low fat crackers with humus.
- They save alcohol for special occasions and don’t over rely on caffeine for a pick me up.
Many athletes have said that their breakthrough performances occurred when they stopped eating whatever, and began to “eat to perform”. Now is the time, maximize your training. Eat with purpose and achieve your personal best in the upcoming season!
Categories: Sports Nutrition