Nutrition for Athletes

Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, nutrition plays an important role in athletic performance.

Here are some basics to keep in mind:

  • Carbohydrates deliver energy during exercise and provide fiber, vitamins and minerals. They’re found in foods such as pasta, whole-grain breads and rice. You should eat carbs before you exercise, especially if you’ll be exercising for more than one hour. After exercise, carbs will help you recover from heavy workouts.

  • Protein is important for muscle growth and to repair body tissues. Some foods high in protein include eggs, chicken, beef, fish, beans and dairy. It’s a myth that a high-protein diet promotes muscle growth. Only strength training and exercise will change muscles.

  • Water is the most important nutrient for athletes. Your body can lose several liters of sweat in an hour of vigorous exercise, so make sure to drink sixteen ounces of water two hours before a workout. Continue to drink water during and after your workout, about eight ounces for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise.

Good nutrition and good performance go together. If you’re not sure where to start, make an appointment with a trained nutritionist. They can help you perform better, regardless of the sport you’re playing.

Learn more about nutrition for athletes.