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Improve Athletic Performance through Nutrition

Improve Athletic Performance through Nutrition

Increased activity levels, sweating, and tissue wear and tear require special support so it is important to spend a little time and energy fine tuning your eating program along with your flexibility and strength training programs.  However, many athletes rely on commercial drinks and bars thinking they are the best choice for giving us more energy and for healing post exercise.  But are they really all they are cracked up to be?  Most are loaded with salt, chemicals, colours, highly processed proteins and/or unhealthy fats.  These additives cause our bodies to use more energy while trying to eliminate them instead of giving us the extra nutrients, fats and minerals that are required post workout.

If you are serious about your health and you want to increase stamina and overall athletic performance, focus on whole foods and make nutrition a priority with the following in mind:

  1. Aim for 3 balanced meals and 2 healthy snacks each day.
  2. Include a pre-exercise snack. (3:1 carbs:protein) such as fruit & nuts, pita & hummus, yogourt & fruit, rice cakes & almond butter
  3. To replenish electrolytes before, during and after exercise naturally, try coconut water, fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, bananas and dates.
  4. Examples of good post-exercise snacks (which should be consumed within 30 minutes after you have finished your workout) include smoothies, natural energy bars (larabars), bananas, nuts and seeds.  Try our Super Recovery Smoothie for your next post workout snack.
  5. Reduce your intake of foods that slow you down.  For example, refined sugar, flour and caffeine.
  6. Take advantage of superfoods – salba, quinoa, pomegranate, dulse, green tea, tumeric, green leafy vegetables, berries, hemp, flaxseeds.
  7. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of purified water daily with electrolyte replacement as necessary.

For more information on fueling your body for success, make an appointment with Jane Goehner, Naturopathic Doctor for a nutritional assessment at balancepointhc@yahoo.com.