When it comes to fitness, nutrition and exercise go hand-in-hand – you can’t have one without the other. A lot of emphasis is put on training, and rightfully so, but too often, healthy food choices are ignored or neglected.
Read on to discover five ways good nutrition will boost your sports performance. And if you’re confused by all the mixed messages out there on healthy eating, our Tauranga sports nutritionist and dietitian can provide professional, tailored advice.
- Consuming enough calories is key
If you’ve ever seen a viral social media post on the breakfasts of athletes like Michael Phelps or Novak Djokovic, you may have discovered the challenge of consuming enough food to fuel a workout. Whether it’s competitive sport or simply maximising your evening run, cutting calories just won’t do. Exercise increases our bodies’ demands, so you need sufficient energy (ie food!) to fuel your workout effectively.
- Nutrients mean energy
Good nutrition is a balancing act of macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). While every nutrient plays an important role, some – like carbohydrates, B vitamins and iron – are absolutely essential for either creating energy or making it available. When you strike the right balance and all the nutrients you need are in sufficient amounts, your body can get the most energy out of its food.
- Nutrition aids recovery
Recovery is an important part of sports performance. After a strenuous workout, your body needs time to rest and repair to build the muscles that were used back up. Working with our Tauranga nutritionist can aid recovery time because they help you tailor a diet that will provide enough carbohydrates to replenish your muscle’s fuel stores, adequate protein to repair your muscles and sufficient fluid and electrolytes to rehydrate properly.
- It gives your immune system a boost
Getting sick gets in the way of training. Proper nutrition strengthens your immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off those winter bugs. Plus, a healthy, balanced diet from a registered dietitian will help prevent common deficiencies, like low vitamin D or iron levels, which make it harder for your body to fight off viral and bacterial infections.
- Specific diets need specific nutrients
Are you vegan? Vegetarian? Coeliac? While you can certainly fall into any of these categories and be an exceptional athlete, dietary restrictions can make it harder for your body to get all it needs. For instance, a vegan diet will require B12 supplements as the mineral is found only in animal sources. A sports nutritionist has the knowledge to look out for nutritional deficiencies common in different diets, and make sure you’re covering all your bases for superior sports performance.
Is it time to see a sports nutritionist?
If you’d like to perform at your best, book an appointment with Body In Motion’s Tauranga nutritionist and dietitian.