Athletes must be powered by the right fuel. It’s no good having a natural talent and flair if you don’t have the fitness levels to put this to use and those fitness levels cannot be achieved without a balanced diet that provides all the right nutrients needed to succeed.

Tackling this can be a big headache for an athlete. Alongside the technical skills you require to succeed you’ll need to become an expert in balancing your diet too. Here are some top tips on how to get that right…

Sensible goals

Be totally focussed on what you want to achieve. You’ll see plenty of nutrition plans out there but they’re not all relevant – don’t get sucked into a schoolboy mistake of following an advanced bodybuilder plan if that’s not your field. Work out what you need to improve to boost your athletic performance and tailor your diet plan around that.

Eat well

Don’t skimp on food. It’s vital that your body gets the energy it needs in order to reach peak athletic performance. Denying it food will mean you lack the energy required to compete –it’s like trying to run your car on an empty tank. An active athlete probably needs at least double the daily calorie intake of a non-athlete. About 10 to 12 per cent of that should come in the form of proteins and as much as 70 per cent from carbohydrates.

Meals

With that in mind you need to stock up on ‘exercise meals’ that will help fuel your training sessions. Swimming.org reckons baked potatoes, pasta, beans on toast or chilli con carne are all suitable for keeping your carbohydrate and proteins levels high and in the right balance ahead of a swimming session. Build up a bank of recipes that deliver the right boost ahead of your workout.

Snacks

In and around meals it’s fine to take in snacks but avoid items high in fat and sugar in favour of fruit, nuts and low fat yoghurt. These can provide you with more of the nutrients you need throughout the day, give you an energy boost before exercise and stop you from over-eating when it comes to meal times.

Fluids

Don’t allow dehydration to affect your performance. Drink fluids early and often during intensive exercise and don’t wait until you feel parched – that might be too late. Experts suggest you keep an eye on the colour of your urine to see if you’re getting it right – if it’s bright yellow or dark it means you’re not getting enough fluid.

Supplements

Sensible use of supplements can really help to get the balance right. Make sure any supplements you use are targeting a specific need and then deploy them smartly to get a better performance. Keep right on top of the latest developments

in this field – Fysiqal Nutrition is the latest player to check out – so you don’t miss out on something that your rivals may well be doing.

Afters

Don’t neglect your body post-workout. Take in a nourishing meal within an hour of exercise to help reduce inflammation, repair muscles, replenish energy and rehydrate. Fresh, unprocessed foods are best when it comes to refuelling.

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3 Comments

  1. rpdutt says:

    And the evidence for using supplements is what exactly?

    1. I think it’s all about profit, Martin what is going on?????

      1. Martin Rathfelder says:

        This is a paid advert

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