So if your body type, endurance, genetics, or coordination isn’t quite suitable for Olympic level competition anytime soon, such as say, similar to Olympic swim freak Micheal Phelps.
He had an extraordinary 12,000 calorie per day diet during the Olympics, which didn’t consist of many fruits or vegetables, or vitamin supplements.
We however need to comply with a sensible diet which has plenty of veggies to complete and supplement our diets to remain healthy while active.
Veggies, eating plenty of vegetables which are as fresh and as organic as possible, contains valuable antioxidants as well as minerals which are vital for energy reproduction and quicker ultimate recovery.
If doing any type of intense or longer workouts, what athletes will do is generate free radicals in the body, which are defined as molecules which can damage body tissue. This as a result leads towards inflammation as well as slower recovery times. Antioxidants are also molecules, but are able to neutralize these free radicals.
Eating Lots Of Vegetables
So how many servings of actual fresh vegetables do you need? Various health food guides and experts recommend anywhere from 6 to 10 – 1/2 cup servings on a daily basis, based on your age and gender. Modified, try one fist-sized serving of fresh vegetables for every twenty five pounds of body weight.
Also, make sure that you incorporate a variety of colors of vegetables as they all offer and contribute different sources of minerals and antioxidant values.
Avoid Beverages Such as Tea Coffee Caffeine
There are various studies which claim that some athletes display better endurance, while being able to recover their energy quicker with caffeine intake. There are however no long term tests on the impact that caffeine intake actually has, or its effects on the adrenal glands which occurs when the body becomes stressed.
What caffeine does is the stimulates the adrenals. If those adrenals happen to become tired from over training, or even from daily stress, enhancing them isn’t going to improve the recovery process.
There are others who claim that there’s another negative impact of constant caffeine intake, and that’s bone density. Coffee as well as tea are extremely acid-forming.
What these acids will do is slow down the healing process of tissues while increasing the demand of calcium just to neutralize the acid. So as a result, it extracts calcium away from the bones, thus making them weaker.
There are many who cannot completely eliminate their consumption of cola, tea, or coffee. So to help in clearing out the acid buildup, it’s been suggested to drink a few ounces of pure black cherry juice directly after workouts.
Protein To Repair Tissue
Protein is needed for the repairing of tissue, but too much protein will also stress out the kidneys while building up acid which aggravates inflammation.
So how much protein intake do you actually need. It’s recommended that up to 6 servings of 1/2 of the size of your hand, with at least 3 of them being vegetable based protein, should be adequate for most athletic individuals.
One of these servings should also be within 60 minutes of completing your workout or run for the day.
Complex Carbohydrates Instead Of Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates, which are the well known whites, such as, flour, sugar, and rice, all provide empty calories while using up valuable nutrients when it comes to the digestion process.
So if you’re an athlete of any type, the more that you workout and sweat, the more nutrients and calories that your body needs. So consuming whole grains, which should be in the form of cooked grains, such as, brown rice or quinoa, Kasha 7-Grain, Sunny Boy Hot Cereals, all provide the much needed B vitamins, magnesium, antioxidants, iron, vitamin E, and selenium, as well as fiber for better bowel health.
Is Water Still The Best
Water remains the beverage of choice to replenish. Fresh crisp water is recommended over soda, tea, coffee, certain juices (other than post exercise black cherry juice), and of course excessive alcohol or “Red Bull” type of energy drinks.
Some of the flavored “sports” waters as well as soda pop are laden with unwanted chemicals such as artificial sweeteners that we don’t need.
It’s recommended that you drink 1/2 ounce of water for every pound of body weight that you pack on a sedentary day. During your active “workout” days, you’ll need to hydrate more. Electrolyte drinks work but you need to choose them carefully. Avoid those which contain caffeine, artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Keeping The “Body Fat” In Check
Most of us are fat conscious, especially those who like to work out. You should however be avoiding foods which are labelled as “no or low fat.” What we need to do is consume “healthy” fats to improve energy, immune function, hormone balance, healthier skin, and better nerve function.
Coconut oil as well as butter are excellent fats for cooking. Olive and Flax Oils are great for cold use, such as on salads. Combine equal parts of olive oil, coconut oil, and flax oil, and store the mixture for future use.
Use the mixture, increase the flax oil if you need to, and use on brown rice, steamed veggies, rice, or grain bread. Don’t use this for frying or sauteing however.
Those More Active Need Additional Supplements
If you consider yourself active or are an athlete, you need the additional calories to support your training as well as you needing to increase your vitamin and mineral intake to support your higher burning metabolism and tissue repair.
Improving the food that you eat will naturally enhance your vitamin and mineral intake. If you feel you’re not getting enough, see your health or wellness practitioner to find out if you require any additional specific vitamins or minerals, which will support your athletic activities better.