Every meal you have the opportunity to either improve your athletic performance or deplete it all together. Athletes know food is energy and each meal can prepare the body for maximum work. While professional athletes might have someone to cook their meals and tell them when and what to eat, you don’t have to actually be a high performance athlete to eat like one. Lets be honest, whether you play sports or not, who wouldn’t want the physique, speed, energy and mobility of an athlete? Athletes are known for following a lifestyle that centers around their sport. You can achieve a similar lifestyle on or off the field to look and feel like a high-performance athlete. If that is on your goal list, this article will teach 5 foods you need to drop like a hot potato ASAP:
1. Refined Sugar and Desserts
Refined sugar is the enemy to athletes! It increases inflammation in the body and boots insulin levels which can send your blood sugar through the roof and eventually add to fat cell stores. No athlete would begin or end their day with a bowl full of sugar and neither should you.
2. Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol puts an abrupt end to proper digestion and protein synthesis. As an athlete, maintaining lean muscle mass is crucial so each meal must be properly consumed, digested and used to feed, refuel and rebuild muscle. Alcohol is an added stressor on the body and is full of empty calories meaning while they add to your total caloric intake for the day, there is no nutritional benefit to them.
3. Junk food, Fried foods or Trans fats
How can you be performing your best if you’re assuming the ‘couch potato’ position? Any type of junk or fried food can be loaded with trans fats which are harmful to the body, can cause heart disease and generally cause a feeling of fatigue which leads to inactivity.
4. Soda; Diet or Regular
Diet and regular soda fall under the “Just don’t” category in a healthy diet. Diet soda is full of food dyes, artificial sweeteners which are neuro-toxins while regular soda is a sugar bomb waiting to happen. Any athlete would gladly grab a tea, regular or sparkling water over a soda.
5. Processed Food
There is no place for processed food in a healthy diet to help you perform at your best. Chances are that if it lives in a box, bag or can that it has been altered from its most natural form making it a ‘processed food’ item. The problem with processed food is the body has to do a lot of work to break it down and digest it for the body to put any use to it. These food items can also contain chemical additives and preservatives which can be toxic to the body, brain and lead to an overall system breakdown.
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What a high-performance athlete would eat however is anything in its most natural state which can be categorized as lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, non GMO organic fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices and superfoods.
Adopt this list and ditch the 5 items no self-respecting athlete would consume.