A top-performing athlete deserves to work with an equally top-performing nutritionist. Actually, let’s correct that statement. All athletes—even casual or recreational ones—deserve high-level nutritional guidance to ensure they compete at their best in their given sport.
Eating the right foods is essential for any athlete who wants to achieve optimal performance in their sport. With the right diet plan in place, athletes can take control of their health and maximize their performance on the field or court.
A nutritionist can provide the guidance and support needed to ensure that athletes are fueling their bodies with the nutrients they need for peak performance. With a nutritionist's help, athletes can develop an individualized diet plan that meets their specific needs, such as their activity level, body type, and goals.
Why Do Athletes Require Optimal Nutrition?
Some athletes are ferocious and have an iron will to win. Others are more casual and focused on getting enough exercise to bolster their quality of life. Many fall somewhere in between.
No matter what type of athlete you might be, performing at your best should always be your goal. That doesn’t necessarily mean stopping at nothing to win; it can mean working hard to reap the many physical and mental benefits of your given sport.
Optimal nutrition helps you perform at your best, giving you the extra energy required to keep up your physical output in your sport(s) of choice. This ability to stave off tiredness can also be crucial in avoiding injuries.
How Can a Certified Nutritionist Help You Thrive as an Athlete?
You might be hesitant about seeking out the counsel and expertise of a certified nutritionist to help optimize your sports performance. If so, we’ll help you overcome your trepidation below:
DIYing Optimal Nutrition Isn’t Always Possible for Athletes
High-level athletes have a lot to focus on regarding their performance. First and foremost is the rigorous training schedule that’s bound to take up substantial real estate in your mind.
As a high-performing athlete, you often train multiple times per day for hours at a time. The demands on your body call for peak nutrition, but it doesn’t necessarily allow time to learn about the best dietary approaches.
A certified nutritionist can do the heavy lifting with dietary strategies, so you can focus on peak performance instead of nutritional research.
Casual athletes also have complex nutritional needs. The strain you put on yourself in rec leagues might not be the same as in ultra-competitive sports leagues, but it’s no less tough on your body.
A nutritionist can guide you toward a diet that harnesses injury prevention and boosts your energy.
You may also be participating in sports to improve your health and wellness. In this instance, nutritionists know the nuanced dietary behaviors to help you gain the most from your athletic endeavors.
Athletes Often Don’t Eat Enough
We live in a world where people obsess about calorie deficits and weight loss and equate it to optimal health. These false notions can extend to athletic performance. After all, wouldn’t being lighter help you be more nimble and give you more endurance?
The truth is often quite the opposite.
While many sports (like basketball or baseball) require that you maintain a healthy weight to avoid injuries, given the demand on your joints, they also require bulk and muscle. Beyond that, failing to eat enough leaves athletes bereft of the energy to compete at the highest level possible.
Does that mean you must eat the same calorie-dense diet as NFL superstar JJ Watt or be as militant as The Rock? Not at all. There’s a need for balance and finding the appropriate plan that suits your personality and lifestyle. An experienced Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist can help you strike the ideal balance that improves your sports performance.
Too Many Athletes Neglect Carbohydrates
Thanks to fad diets like Atkins and Paleo, an aversion to carbs has taken the wellness world by storm, but it’s entirely misguided. Everybody needs carbohydrates in their diet, especially athletes.
Of course, there’s always the layman who says, “Well, carbs are also in fruits and vegetables,” which is true. Unfortunately, the implication is that you need to avoid all other carbs, which isn’t the case.
Specifically, athletes need to eat simple carbohydrates (found in milk, milk products, candy, soft drinks, syrups, etc.) before high-output events. These carbs are quick-burning fuel for and after your athletic performance.
Moderation is everything with simple carbs. They aren’t typically "healthy,” but they help with performance, and most people should focus on complex carbs (e.g., whole grains and nuts).
A certified nutritionist with expertise in athletics helps you get the right carbs at the right time and in the right amounts. They remove the guessing game and cultivate dietary patterns that help you peak when the time comes to perform.
It’s Common for Athletes to Not Stay Hydrated
Studies found that 32% of athletes participated in exercise or their sport without being sufficiently hydrated. Around 44% were dehydrated after their event.
An athlete’s physical output—even recreational ones—is far greater than the average person’s. Thus, hydration is a much higher priority for athletes, who require more daily fluids than non-athletes.
Athlete dehydration is particularly detrimental, given the risks of not staying hydrated (e.g., kidney problems and seizures). Moreover, it’s impossible to perform at your best when your body is weakened from a lack of hydration.
It can be impossible to stay hydrated when trying to do it on your own. Staying on top of your fluid intake is tough during the daily grind.
Fortunately, a certified nutritionist can help develop strategies that ensure you get enough fluids throughout the day.
With the right nutritionist by your side, you can ensure that you are consuming the right foods to boost your energy, prevent injuries, and perform at your best on the field or court. From designing the ideal diet plan to addressing hydration and carbohydrate intake, nutritionists in Orlando and other cities across the US can help you thrive and excel in your chosen sport. Trust their expertise to elevate your athletic performance to new heights.
Combine a recreational or ultra-competitive athlete’s unyielding will to perform at their best with a certified nutritionist’s expertise, and you have a potent combination.
Work with a Registered-Dietitian tailored to the needs of athletes by signing up with Top Nutrition Coaching. We’ll match you with a specialist who’ll help take your athletic performance to the next level.
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