- You should always try to get in 5-7 fruits and vegetables every day. One of the main reasons I became a vegetarian was to force myself to eat more fruits and vegetables. If you get in a lot of these, you will have a lot of the nutrients and fiber you need to be healthy.
- Eat a serving of healthy plant protein every day. This includes beans, lentils, soymilk or tofu. Yeah, I’m a vegetarian and this is the way that I cook, so everyone in my house eats this way, even if they aren’t vegetarian and have meat at other times.
- Stay hydrated. I used to get terrible migraines, but since I have started working out, they have nearly disappeared. I think this is because I drink about a quart of liquid every morning and a full glass of water at every meal and snack during the day.
- Fuel yourself while you are exercising. I know people try to tell you to drink water while you workout so you can lose more weight. Frankly, I think this is ridiculous. All of the actual scientific studies I have read prove that if you take in Gatorade or other carbs while training, you will be able to go faster and farther than without. That will burn more calories than you take in. It’s a silly economy to short yourself on calories while exercising. The whole idea of Gatorade that has fewer calories makes no sense to me. The whole point of Gatorade was always to keep you going. Low calorie Gatorade doesn’t do that.
- Within 20 minutes after every workout, eat a small meal that contains a 2-1 ratio of carbs to protein. A piece of fruit and a glass of milk works fine. You don’t need a fancy recovery drink. I spend money on sports gels and drinks for while I am working out, but once you are done, you don’t need them. Regular food is always better.
- Eat real food, not food substances. That means eat oatmeal for breakfast, not cold cereal. Eat fruit, not canned, if you can manage it. Don’t eat fruit snacks and think that is fruit. Ketchup is not a vegetable. Crackers are snack foods, not real foods. Anything that has more than 5 ingredients in it is suspect. Anything that has an ingredient your 5 year old can’t read is also suspect.
- There is nothing wrong with carbohydrates. No matter what the Atkins people say, healthy, whole grains are great for you. You will need to eat 5-6 servings of them a day to be an athlete. Don’t eat potato chips or white flour, however. Those are just empty calories.
- Enjoy your food. Find healthy foods you like and keep them in the house.
- Salad is a side dish, not a main dish. I hate it when people tell me as a vegetarian, I can just have the salad bar. I need real food. I’m an athlete. I’m not on a diet. I’m not anorexic.
metteharrison - Friday Tri: Nutrition for Athletes
20 April 2012 @ 09:24 am
Friday Tri: Nutrition for Athletes