Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Athletes

Nutrition Tips

  1. Hydration – Over 90% of Americans are in a state of “dehydration” because of the heavy intake of diuretics namely alcohol, coffee, and soda. The rule of thumb is about 0.5 ounces for every pound of bodyweight. So a 200 pound male needs a minimum of 100 ounces of water throughout the day for ideal hydration.
  2. Pre-Workout Nutrition – I recommend my clients eat at least an hour before working out. For endurance athletes, you need some complex carbs, veggies and protein before a training session. For example, rice broccoli and chicken would be a great meal prior to intense training.
  3. Post-Workout Nutrition – The most current research suggests it is better to wait up to an hour after exercise to eat. By waiting an hour to consume nutrients, you are priming your body for uptake of those nutrients. For the majority of individuals a 2:1 carb/protein ratio works best for optimal recovery and glycogen replenishment. For example, 50 grams of carbs with 25 grams of protein.
  4. Breakfast – I recommend all athletes start their day with a high fat, high protein meal. The research shows by doing this your body will burn more fat throughout the day AND you will be more alert. The term for this is an “ergogenic effect.” Another popular term is the meat & nuts breakfast, but having eggs and turkey bacon works just as well. Hard boil eggs the night before if you’re in a rush.
  5. Grocery Shopping – Rule of thumb it is healthier to shop on the perimeter of the grocery store. All the produce, meat, dairy, and eggs cover the perimeter of the grocery store while the middle aisles are filled with processed foods high in sugar, sodium, and fat.
  6. Half-Time Nutrition – For high intensity endurance athletes like soccer players it’s recommended they drink water with electrolytes and glucose to replenish glycogen stores and maintain proper hydration. To ballpark I would recommend drinking half a liter of water with 15 grams of glucose and added electrolytes. Gatorade G2 works great!
  7. Omega-3’s – These special fats are highly recommended for athletes for recovery and reducing inflammation! Unless you consume a high quantity of fish or live by the ocean I recommend you get an omega-3 fish oil supplement.
  8. Snacks – Young athletes historically struggle getting full meals throughout the day thus snacking can be crucial to bridge the gap! Some healthy filling snacks include: beef jerky, mixed nuts, fresh fruit/veggies, peanut or almond butter, and protein bars just to name a few.
  9. Fast Food – When you’re in a rush it’s more convenient and easy to stop at a fast food restaurant for a meal. My top recommendations for healthier fast food options include Chick- Fil-A, Jersey Mike’s, Whole Foods hot bar, and any of the southwest places with burrito bowls.
  10. Meal Prep – For more budget friendly food options I encourage my clients to prepare several meals on a Sunday afternoon for the week. It’s shocking the amount of money people spend eating out on food! In order to reduce the burden on your wallet you need 2 hours on a Sunday. There are several great videos out on YT about “meal prep.” I’d encourage you to watch them and learn to be more productive with your time and money.