For any head sports coach at a top level, one of the most key components to holistic player development is to provide nutrition education to the players/athletes. Years of research and study have proved that proper nutrition will lead to better performance. Many top-level sports teams will employ the skills of a qualified nutritionist with a fitness certification to ensure their players are eating right which in turn, will ensure that they are performing at their optimal level.
Yes, these are elite athletes and they are assisted by sports coaches, nutritionists and all kinds of other fitness professionals but does that mean that a ‘normal person’ cannot practise proper nutrition? Absolutely not!
Here are eight nutrition rules that you need to live by.
1. Come back to earth
Only choose those foods that are the least processed – such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and complex carbohydrates – that are high in fibre. Brigid McKevith – registered dietician and public health nutritionist of Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) – helps out with what a ‘whole grain’ is:
“A grain is considered whole when all three parts of the kernel – the bran, germ and endosperm – are present. Together they provide a whole pack of nutrients.”
2. Eat a rainbow often
Eat either fruits or vegetables with each meal. Choose different colours so that you get as many nutrients as possible.
3. The less legs the better
Include a lean protein with each meal.
4. Eat healthy fats
Healthy fats – such as olive oil, natural nut butters, nuts, seeds, fish and avocado – are a must in your diet.
5. Eat breakfast everyday
If you eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up, it jump starts your metabolism and gives you the necessary energy to get your day going.
6. Three for three
Eat smaller portions of food, spread out throughout the day. You should be eating between four and six meals a day. And these meals should consist of protein, carbohydrates and fat. This keeps your body optimally fuelled.
7. Stay hydrated
Dehydration will lead to a decrease in performance. You need to drink at least two litres of calorie- free beverages such as water or green tea per day.
8. Don’t waste your workout
You need a post-workout recovery shake that will provide all your muscles with everything they need.
Each meal or snack presents an opportunity to fuel your body optimally. Choose foods that are good for you 80% of the time but you can also eat things that you enjoy, 20% of the time. This gives you somewhat of a balance between the two.
If you are looking at becoming a nutritionist, study a Specialised Nutrition Course at Trifocus Fitness Academy. It is here where you will learn how to be a top nutritionist for almost any field. Follow this link to learn more.