You’ve heard over and over again that it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes lean proteins, healthy fats, fibre, lots of vegetables and fruit. And you’ve experienced how much easier it is to approach a training session with a positive mindset and leave the mat on a high note after a day of healthy meal options. But why?
Your muscles rely on instant energy compounds called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and creatine phosphate (CP) to go from zero to back flip at a moment’s notice. Your metabolic pathways convert energy from carbohydrates, fats, and protein to create ATP and CP. Your body will use the energy it gains from healthy foods considerably more efficiently than junk food. Choosing food that supports your body can reduce your risk of injury, and provide the foundation you need to give each session and performance your best. Here are some nourishing choices that are often recommended to cheer athletes and why we love them so much!
Plan snacks with reliable energy sources, like whole fruits and vegetables, plain yogurt, and healthy protein or granola bars. An apple is a good source of carbohydrates and fibre and easy to take on the go. Don’t forget water!
After training or competition you’ve expended a lot of energy! Provide your body with proper recovery time and resources. Reach for a lean protein, like poultry, eggs, fish, or nuts to support your muscles. And, of course, water.
Pay attention to what you eat and how you feel before, during, and after training, studying, or a competition and compare that to the foods you ate to keep track of what your body likes best.