Athletes spend most of their waking hours on training, and this requires tremendous amounts of energy. To provide the energy boost needed to excel in their many workout sessions, athletes eat different kinds of food, but not every food is good for an athlete. There are hundreds of sports nutrition products that usually provide an instant energy boost, but which at closer look are detrimental to the fitness goals of the athlete. If an athlete continues to indulge in these kinds of foods, attaining his fitness goals may be a tall dream that continues to elude him for years. This should be prevented at all cost, and all you have to do is carefully choose the foods that go into your diet. Here are four foods experts say you should not eat if you are an athlete.
Who doesn’t love cereals? They are easy to make, delicious and last for quite a long time in the stomach. But cereals pump large numbers of calories into your body and this fact is not apparent to many people, especially athletes. Check out the amount of cereal you pour into your cereal plate. Then add some sugar and milk. What do you think this will do for your bodybuilding career? It won’t advance your cause in any way. Instead of taking cereals, why not increase your intake of fruits and vegetables for fewer calories and increased nutritional benefits?
Refined or Processed Complex Carbs
Despite the fact that complex carbs release energy at a slow pace so that the person who consumes it feels full for longer, they have some disadvantages. Refined or processed complex carbs are not easy to digest and have a pH value which is extremely low. What this results in is inflammation and below par performance in athletes. Instead of eating processed or refined complex carbs, it is better to look for whole complex carb alternatives such as wild rice and chia to increase endurance and improve joint mobility while reducing inflammation.
The popular news we hear about coffee is that it should be taken before workouts to boost energy levels. But research has shown that the uptick in energy levels caused by coffee takes effect for some time before it wears out to be followed by fatigue. An athlete who is hooked unto coffee as a pre-workout beverage will find herself getting tired after some momentary high-level performance. When this happens over time, the athlete may come down with compounded adrenal exhaustion since it is the adrenal gland that coffee stimulates to produce its effect. Instead, athletes should take green tea as a pre-workout beverage. Green tea contains chlorophyll and antioxidants that improve athletic performance.
Sports nutrition drinks, bars, and gels
Many of the sports-nutrition products that athletes love contain an extremely low amount of nutrients and a high amount of sugar. It is true they give an instant energy kick, but they may also be adding more fat to your body. Think of the sacrifice you have to make and the grueling conditions under which you train. Should the gains of your pain be frittered away because of a sports bar? I don’t think so. Instead of snacking on bars or drinks, opt for a quick energy boost with nuts and seeds.
Being an athlete is hard. Don’t make it harder for yourself by eating foods that sabotage your cause. Eat healthy to train efficiently and become the person you wish to be at the least possible time.
Comment below on how these foods have affected your training.