5 Tips to Improve Your Athletic Performance through a Healthy Diet


Improve Performance through Diet

Once upon a time, not too long ago, athletes were recommended the standard or generic healthy diets. Most athletes consumed a lot of carbohydrates, sufficient proteins and a bit of fat.

This changed with time as fruits and vegetables became priorities, albeit secondary. The focus was largely on macronutrients and micronutrients were rarely talked about until recently, at least for ordinary people who did not have expert nutritionists and personal trainers to guide them every moment.

That has changed now. Most athletes have a healthy diet that is devised entirely on the basis of the specific nutritional requirement and the kind of athletic performance one desires.

It should be noted that there is no generic approach to a healthy diet. Athletic performance depends on many variables and these are rarely identical or even similar among all people.

(Also read: The Best Supplements You Can Take as a Distance Runner)


1

The first of our five tips to improve your athletic performance through a healthy diet may seem simple but it is quite complex when you delve into the details.

You should know your calorie requirement. Your daily calorie requirement will depend on your age, gender, body weight or body mass index, metabolic rate, genetics, the present level of fitness, the type of exercise routine you must abide by and other health factors, including your blood pressure, blood sugar and whether or not you have any physiological ailments. 

Female athletes need fewer calories than male athletes. Younger athletes need more calories than older athletes. These are generalizations that have not been proven to be wrong.

However, discounting metabolic rate or not understanding the exact calorie requisite given the demands would be unwise. Nutritionists and personal trainers are even considering the blood type to determine a healthy diet for athletes.

There is enough scientific evidence suggesting a link between blood type and the types of foods one can easily metabolize.


2

Every athlete or an aspirant knows how important hydration is. It is not just fluids but a myriad of drinks that is needed from time to time.Those who plan to run marathons and anyone who works out every day will need plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, to remain healthy and to avoid fatigue. 

Dehydration poses a plethora of problems. While dehydrated athletes will perform poorly, there can be substantial damage to muscles and vital processes can be impaired for a while.

The second tip on our list pertains to proactive hydration. Some athletes and many aspirants are reactive with hydration. You do need enough water and healthy fluids when you are exercising and after but you also need to stay hydrated before you begin your exercise.

This is similar to watering plants before they dry up and begin to wilt. Excessive watering is not necessary. Proactive watering in moderate or necessary quantity is the key.

Many athletes fail to attain their peak performance because of the way their bodies use the available energy and water. This happens subtly inside the body and most people simply feel it is them and in their incapability when it is basical biology.


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You should break down your calorie intake depending on the type of healthy diet you have chosen. As mentioned earlier, there is no one particular healthy diet for everyone.

For instance, you may follow a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet is low on carbohydrates, contains moderate quantities of proteins and high quantities of fats.

However, there are differences. An ideal ketogenic diet has three fourth of daily calorie intake in the form of fats, a little less than one-sixth of the daily calorie consumption in the form of proteins and one-tenth of calories consumed in the form of carbohydrates.

There are high carbohydrate, low carbohydrate, moderate and zone diets. A zone diet would have two-fifths of the daily calorie intake in the form of carbohydrates and equal proportions of proteins and fats for the rest.

You can use a keto macro calculator to have a lucid understanding of such breakdowns of calorie intake. You may or may not be certain how many calories you are consuming. The keto macro calculator will help you to ascertain that as well. Tools such as the keto macro calculator are essential for athletes.


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An athlete or an aspirant must guard against electrolyte imbalance. Every human body has a natural peak performance level. This does not exist in isolation.

Everything from genetics to past training and present health or state of fitness will be a contributive factor. An athlete can only improve their performance by challenging their present peak.

This is demanding in many ways. The body will not always comply and there would be onetime and transient issues. One such problem is electrolyte imbalance or deficiency.

Electrolytes are essential salts and minerals such as sodium and potassium, calcium and magnesium, chlorides and others. You need a fine balance of all electrolytes to be optimally healthy.

Hence, your healthy diet should provide you with enough electrolytes. You should include dairy, milk or yogurt or both unless you are lactose intolerant.

Include bananas, watermelon, and avocado in your diet. Drink coconut water. You may choose watercress, scallops, unsweetened soymilk, butternut squash, beet greens, Swiss cheese and chard leaves, spinach, dill pickles, white button mushrooms, lettuce, and celery.


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The last tip which is definitely not the least important is to review and change your healthy diet from time to time. Every athlete undergoes rigorous training before a competition and then there is a relatively relaxed time, maybe a few days or weeks.

Some athletes train extensively only for a few months and choose moderate workouts for the rest of the year. Your aim, present level of fitness and the desired athletic performance will determine your workouts, including intensity and duration.

Just as the exercises change, your diet should change accordingly to remain relevant. A healthy diet for a particular purpose can become unhealthy in another scenario. For instance, when you are recovering from an injury or when you have a restive fortnight, there is no need to adhere to a ketogenic diet.