I’m a straight shooter. I tell it how it is. As a dietitian and a recreational athlete, these are the things that I wish that every athlete knew and understood in relation to fueling their body for peak athletic performance.
There is no “one-size fits all” fueling plan for athletes.
It would be so convenient if there was one fueling plan that was perfect for every athlete. Every athlete is different in what works best for them. They have different body types, training plans, food preferences, medical history, age, gender and goals. This is why a sports dietitian nutritionist may recommend a variety of options to find what works best for you.
You’re likely wasting your money on supplemental pills and powders.
In many cases, supplements are simply a scam. No matter how great the product claims to be, it’s very likely that you can receive the same benefits from food, if not more.
There are always a few exceptions. Such as vitamin D – especially those who live in northern regions with less sunshine exposure – as it’s difficult to receive enough Vitamin D in the diet. Another exception would be folic acid supplementation. Supplementing with folic acid is often recommended for women of childbearing age that may become pregnant to reduce the risk of birth defects.
With some supplement products, they can actually be dangerous as the FDA doesn’t require supplements to be proven safe to FDA’s satisfaction before they are marketed. Supplement manufacturers don’t even need to receive FDA approval before producing or selling their products. YIKES!
Popular fad diets can be harmful to your health and performance.
Novice and recreational athletes will often try fad diets that cut out food groups with promises of weight loss or fat loss. While they may see weight loss due to the lack of calories, but the diet is also lacking key nutrients.
Aside from allergies and intolerances, most elite professional athletes eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, oils, meats, fish, whole grains and dairy. I know that may not sound sexy like some of the fad diets do, but the pros really do eat all the food groups! A high-quality diet with a variety of foods will provide the most nutrition, improve health and enhance performance.