When you get into a sport, what is the first thing you invest in? Your equipment right? The latest shoes with support and improved grip, the newest racket with upgraded balance, the top of the line bat and kit on par with professionals. To be the best most people settle for buying the best.
But what if i told you that there is one item in your own home worth investing in that has the potential to maximize not only your performance right from your strength to your endurance, but also your recovery?
The foods in your kitchen are some of the most powerful tools in your toolkit as a sports person and more often than not the most underutilized.
Want to jump start your performance on the pitch? It all starts in your plate. Read on for the Diet Dr Clinics Sports Nutrition Strategy.
- Before a match it is important to be properly fueled to prevent muscle exhaustion. The best fuel is in the form of high quality carbohydrate:
- such as sweet potato
- fruits such as: banana
- peanut butter on whole toast sandwich.
- During the match to maintain sodium-potassium balance (which is important to prevent muscle cramps and fatigue) sip on:
- Fruit infused or chia seeds water.
- Coconut water is another amazing addition naturally rich in all necessary electrolytes and minerals definitely better for you than supermarket sports drinks!
- After the match: The body is likely to be in a fatigued or exhausted state with most of its energy (muscle glycogen) depleted, this coupled with post exercise inflammation makes this the most important time to eat the right foods.
- Good quality protein sources which can be easily absorbed (high bio-availability) such as egg white, natural whey water, cow’s milk etc.
- Consuming a diet low in inflammatory foods such as high sugar/ high fructose foods, vegetable oils, margarine, refined carbohydrates, processed meats like sausage, bacon etc keeps your performance in the best shape possible allowing you to train/ play more consistently.
- Similarly eating anti-inflammatory foods post training or matches boosts recovery. Foods rich in omega 3’s and 9’s: e.g. chia, flax, basil (sabja) seeds, coconut oil are all good options. As well as anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, ginger etc. Seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables that are brightly coloured also contain an array of anti-inflammatory compounds.
- When eating for peak performance always consult a trained nutritionist who can alter your eating plan according to the sport you play, your schedule, dietary habits etc.