Like any high performance machine, your body needs fuel.
To a large extent, the type of fuel you put into your body (that is, the food you eat) will impact your performance.
This performance will be seen in competitions, of course, but the most significant value to proper nutrition is the effect it will have on your training.
With the proper nutrition of an optimal diet plan, you’ll be able to train harder than ever before.
When you integrate a diet plan into your overall training plan, you can take a lot of the guesswork out of your nutrition and fueling.
You might already have some ideas on what you should include in your diet plan, but you should still consult with a nutritional expert to make sure that the diet you have in mind is a good match for your training plan.
This expert might be your coach, your physical therapist, or another professional who focuses on sports nutrition.
Keep in mind that your diet plan is more than simply making sure that you have enough “calories in” to match the “calories out” that you expend in your training activities.
Sports Nutrition – What you eat directly affects
The quality of your food sources is very important. Almost as important as the type and amount of food you eat is when you eat.
A proper diet plan recognizes that after hard workout you have a limited window of time in which your muscles will be most receptive to replenishing and rebuilding themselves.
Eating the right types of foods, and in the proper amounts, within an hour after finishing your workout can make a significant difference in how ready you’ll be for your next workout.
Of course, your pre-workout nutrition plan is important because without the proper fuel it will be difficult for your body to perform whatever’s necessary for that workout.
The proper balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat will depend on the type of athletic pursuits you participate in.
There are certainly guidelines for good eating, but a power lifter is not going to have the same type of diet plan as a marathon runner.
The best way to stick to a diet plan is to prepare as many meals as possible at home yourself. (Not only will this make it easier to know what you’re putting into your body, it will likely keep your diet more affordable.)
If your schedule has you away from home much of the day, select items for your diet plan that can be prepared in advance, and taken with you when you’re away from your kitchen.
Unless you are competing at the absolute highest levels of competition for your particular sport, make sure to build some flexibility into your diet plan.
It might seem like a good idea to plan out your diet in detail, but unless your dedication is exceptional there will be times that you might want to add a little bit of extra snacking to your food intake.
Account for this possibility and you won’t feel like you’ve “failed” by eating something that wasn’t part of the plan.