What Should Athletes Eat?
Andrew Parker - December 28, 2022

Looking Back

by Edgar A. Guest

I might have been rich if I'd wanted the gold
instead of the friendships I've made.
I might have had fame if I'd sought for renown
in the hours when I purposely played.
Now I'm standing to-day on the far edge of life,
and I'm just looking backward to see
What I've done with the years and the days that were mine,
and all that has happened to me.

I haven't built much of a fortune to leave
to those who shall carry my name,
And nothing I've done shall entitle me now
to a place on the tablets of fame.
But I've loved the great sky and its spaces of blue;
I've lived with the birds and the trees;
I've turned from the splendor of silver and gold
to share in such pleasures as these.

I've given my time to the children who came;
together we've romped and we've played,
And I wouldn't exchange the glad hours spent
with them for the money that I might have made.
I chose to be known and be loved by the few,
and was deaf to the plaudits of men;
And I'd make the same choice should the chance
come to me to live my life over again.

I've lived with my friends and I've shared in their joys,
known sorrow with all of its tears;
I have harvested much from my acres of life,
though some say I've squandered my years.
For much that is fine has been mine to enjoy,
and I think I have lived to my best,
And I have no regret, as I'm nearing the end,
for the gold that I might have possessed.

Athletes’ bodies go through a lot of stress, so it’s crucial that they get the nourishment they need to keep going. The most straightforward and efficient strategy for achieving nutritional success is focusing on the five primary dietary groups: fruits and vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy products. Your diet would be lacking without each of these. Fruits and vegetables should make up around half of your plate, or 50% of each meal. Energy, hydration, digestion, and healing from or avoidance of damage are all supported by the carbs, vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, and antioxidants these foods supply.

Getty Images/DigitalVision/Yagi Studio

The increased vitamin, mineral, and fiber content of whole grains over white/refined grain products makes them a dietary priority. These foods include a wealth of carbs, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all of which are essential for high-intensity exercise and subsequent healing. These high-starch meals should be ingested in amounts equal to one or two fists at each meal, especially those before exercise, depending on the individual’s physical activity level.

Only complete proteins can supply the nine necessary amino acids humans lack, yet the body needs to function correctly. You need amino acids to construct and maintain cell membranes, muscular tissue, and chemical reactions, among other things. While animal proteins are the best source of all nine necessary amino acids, certain plant-based protein combinations can also meet the body’s needs.

Numerous essential nutrients, such as calcium, complete proteins, potassium, and carbohydrates, may be found in this category of foods. This nutritional profile supports cellular metabolism, muscular contraction and repair, and bone health. Two to three cups of low-fat dairy per day, such as cow’s milk or fortified plant-based drinks, yogurt, or cheese, is recommended for athletes.

Good nutrition is adaptable and may be tailored to each person’s unique tastes and way of life. The first step is to combine the food mentioned above categories in roughly specified proportions. Afterward, tune into your body for feedback so you can adjust your strategy as needed. The items listed below are great options for adding carbs, protein, and healthy fat to any meal or snack you plan.