Do you want to know what the secret is to improving your sports performance?
What you eat counts
Improving your fitness and fuelling your body starts with good quality food no matter what your sports performance status is. The food you eat will help you feel good while you workout and help you recover…faster.
Its time we forget the supplements and chemical powders and consume real food, foods such as:
Beetroot – natures EPO. It’s great for the circulatory system and increases athlete performance by reducing oxygen consumption and decreasing the time it takes to reach exhaustion.
Maca Powder – An herb found in Peru, Maca has high levels of iron, which is important for oxygen transport in the blood, calcium, which is needed for healthy muscle function, and amino acids, which are ideal for energy production and muscle recovery. It also boosts energy and stamina so you can go harder for longer.
Turmeric – Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric helps to prevent oxidative damage during exercise and reduce inflammation in the joints.
Spirulina – A member of the blue-green algae family its known to decrease oxidative stress which is perfect for recovery.
Eat plenty of alkaline rich foods
Alkaline to acid foods (ratio 80/20) helps create the optimal pH balance for good health. High acid diets are a breading ground for disease and poor health. Balancing the body with alkaline rich food such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and certain legumes and grains as opposed to acidic forming foods such as soft drinks, meat, dairy, processed and junk foods is of great benefit.
Kale, sprouts, spinach and ancient grains such as quinoa and amaranth, healthy fats such as avocado, olive and coconut oil should all play an important part in your daily diet along with coconut water, herbal teas, green smoothies and ACV (apple-cider vinegar).
Don’t become reliant on stimulants
Choose rest over stimulants such as sugar, caffeine and energy drinks. Don’t allow your body to train as the ‘norm’ when it’s high on stimulants as this is opening up the potential for injury. You don’t want to be in a position that your body can only function with the help of stimulants.
Stimulants certainly do play a role in athlete performance but be sure to listen to your body and if you are exhausted pushing through can do more harm than good.
Post nutrition is just as import and pre
We choose to focus on pre nutrition to ensure we are able to power ourselves through a training session but what about the sessions after, how are you fuelling for this?
When we train we deplete our muscle/liver glycogen stores and blood sugar levels leaving our muscles yearning for replenishment. Within 30mins post exercise it is recommended to consume a carbohydrate protein ratio of 4:1. Smoothies and fruit juices are the perfect post workout fuel especially as they involve sipping food as opposed to chewing which can often use up more energy as it forces blood flow away from the muscles to the digestive system which can in turn compromise recovery.
Between 30min and 2hrs it is recommended to consume a more substantial carbohydrate rich meal after which time your body has been rebalanced and ready to take on more energy dense foods.
Beware of “D-ficiency” get plenty of natural Vitamin D
As the song goes ‘sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.’ Vitamin D is sometimes called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight.
Sunny rays aids in the production of Vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous which helps with the growth and development of our muscles and bones as well as facilitates normal immune system function.
Health, Wellness, Mindfulness, Awareness
Increasing your sports performance is a combination of health, wellness, mindfulness and awareness. Train hard and smart, eat in season and mostly plants, seek care for your body in the way of massage and mindfully be aware of how you are feeling from one day to the next.
See you out on the training field.