As an athlete, your most important job is the constant and never-ending improvement in your sport of choice. It’s also crucial to maintain your health at all times because being unhealthy could leave to lead to illness, injury, or even worse.
Most athletes would agree that choosing the top primary care physicians Portland has to offer, or the top doctors in your community is the ideal way to maintain excellent health. They’ll also tell you that proper training techniques, lots of exercise, dietary additions or restrictions, and more are critical to maintaining success with such a physically demanding lifestyle.
With that said, we’ll take it to look at our top three recommendations for improving athletic performance and maintaining health. Please read these suggestions and consider adding them to your existing health and wellness maintenance routine.
- Eat Plenty of Protein If You Plan to Exercise for More Than Two Hours
Believe it or not, most endurance athletes recognize the value of carbohydrate intake during long endurance challenges and extended workouts. Guess what? Getting carbs in your system is only part of the puzzle and if you fail to add protein to the mix you’re going to cause more harm than good.
You need at least 10% of your fuel to come from protein in order to satisfy your energy requirements. You can either add protein to your diet after a two-hour workout by eating lean meat, poultry, or a synthetic source, or you can let your body feel starved until it begins feeding upon your existing muscle tissue. Obviously, as an athlete you definitely do not want to sacrifice muscle mass, right? So make the right choice.
- Always Replenish Your Electrolytes While Exercising
Whether you intend to spend hours each day improving your performance while running, or you’re looking to make consistent advances in another sport, just know that ingesting electrolytes during your exercise routine is incredibly important for your overall health and well-being.
Why replenish your electrolytes? Electrolytes are the energy that keeps your body running like a well-oiled machine. Without the necessary amount of electrolytes in your system, your body could potentially experience many unwanted side effects of overtraining. Certain unwanted conditions include rapid heartbeat, muscle revolt, irregular heartbeat, spasms, cramps, and a complete lack of energy like you’d suddenly hit a brick wall.
Instead of waiting for one of these negative scenarios to arrive, you can prevent it by getting electrolytes into your system through healthy eating and supplementation during your workout. Some adequate sources of electrolytes include vegetables like beans, potatoes, lentils, and spinach. Or if you prefer fruits with high potassium and electrolytes, you can enjoy avocado, coconut, dates, bananas, and raisins. Also, maintain proper hydration and wash it all down with water and your electrolytes will be replenished in no time at all.
- Try to Avoid Carbo Loading before a Big Race or Exercise Session
Unfortunately, many people feel like they should overeat the night before a big race or exercise session to maximize their stores of muscle glycogen. In a perfect world, this would be the right thing to do, but our physiology doesn’t exactly work according to this plan.
In fact, to replenish your stores or increase them, you’ll need to consistently train and replenish using post workout fuel for many weeks in a row in order to grow these stores. So if you eat excess carbs the night before, you’re either going to carry it around as dead weight in your belly or it’s going to go directly to your hips, thighs, or other problem areas like your butt because you’re going to store it as fat. And you obviously don’t want that to happen.
Clearly, it’s definitely possible to improve your athletic performances with the right dedication and information to set you on this path (try getting access to a personal fitness trainer if you want to speed up your performance). So please use what we’ve shared today and you’ll have no problem maintaining proper health while improving your performance on the court, field, track, or anywhere else for that matter.