Diana Davis RD, LDN, CDE |
An overwhelming and well-accepted body of scientific evidence demonstrates unequivocally that a healthy diet and healthy eating habits are beneficial in promoting optimal health, preventing illness, and aiding the achievement of performance goals in athletes.
Most serious recreational athletes will devote a significant amount of time and effort to plan and prepare healthy meals, as well as have healthy snacks on hand, all the while avoiding unhealthy foods.
Life happens, however, and sometimes the best-laid plans fall apart. In a world where fast and easy food is everywhere and the demands on our time are many, we all too often eat whatever is available. Although these on-the-go foods are usually high in macronutrients containing energy, they are typically low in nutritional value and lack vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
As a result, many athletes do not eat enough of the “good stuff” every day. The good stuff is found in the form of whole, unprocessed vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and lean proteins that contain the energy, micronutrients, and phytochemicals which enhance the function of all of the cells of our bodies.
Athletic success and achieving one’s goal for athletes of all levels depends on a myriad of factors: training, motivation, rest and recovery, and nutrition. The addition to the diet of a daily multivitamin, mineral and antioxidant formula that is evidence-based and targeted to meet the specific needs of the endurance athlete is a highly prudent strategy and will provide essential nutrients which may be lacking from dietary sources.