3 Simple Dietary Tips Followed by Professional Athletes (That Everyone Can Learn From)

Professional athletes train and work hard to attain elite status in their fields. They continually push themselves to reach new heights of physical, emotional, and mental endurance. Regardless of their sport, professional athletes share this practice – they ensure their bodies have enough fuel to compete at the highest level possible. This means finding the right nutritional balance by following certain rules. You, too, can use the dietary principles which elite athletes use to achieve peak performance and boost health.

Plan Your Diet

The first step in ensuring your body has sufficient fuel to power you through your day is to make and follow a plan. Many people inadvertently make poor dietary choices because they lack a clear plan. For professional athletes, that can make the difference between winning or losing a race or competition. Having a diet plan doesn’t necessarily mean eliminating certain food groups, it’s about sticking to a long-term plan that allows you to eat a balanced diet (a mix of quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in your meals). This means you can still have pizza or chocolate, on occasion, as long as your overall diet is healthy and energizing.

Have a Simple Diet

Top-performing athletes’ typical diet consists of fairly simple and easy to prepare whole foods (think of banana and oatmeal or vegetables, roast chicken, and sweet potatoes). You can put this into practice by sticking to a healthy and well-designed meal plan that consists of unprocessed ingredients. It’s easy for savvy product marketing to have you believe that the best athletes’ exceptional performance is powered by the priciest and trendiest foods and supplements, but that’s far from the truth. For one, professional athletes travel extensively and so they need food that’s available anywhere.

Each individual has a different nutritional and dietary need, so instead of hopping from one diet to the other based on what’s in vogue, you should stick to a diet plan that suits your specific needs. Professional athletes craft their diet plans based on their metabolism, preferences, training, tolerance, local availability, and schedule. Ultimately, what will enable you to be at the top of your game is a diet that is well-suited for your body.

Consume a Diet that Fuels Your Life

Professional athletes’ livelihood is hinged on their athletic performance and that is what informs what they eat. For an average person, this is a fantastic way of approaching diet because researchers at Harvard have found that diet affects our cognitive ability, emotional wellbeing, decision making, and motivation, all of which influence our ability to perform well in our roles at work and home.

Different sports place different demands on the body and thus have different nutritional requirements, which tend to vary throughout the season.  During midseason, for example, athletes may need more anti-inflammatory and recovery foods, and during the offseason, they may require higher protein intake because of the increased intensity of strength training. You should base your diet on how you want to perform in various aspects of your life as well as your current life “season” (think about your age, lifestyle, physical activity, and work).

Use these three nutritional principles to enhance your overall health and wellbeing. For more dietary tips, visit Genesis Performance today. We will help you to be at your best health and vitality through our holistic lifestyle and fitness coaching. Through our virtual training, our team will help you attain your fitness goals. To get started, contact us today!

Jenna Dillon

Founder & CEO

Jenna is an Executive Coach committed to working with high performing individuals and companies who are up to exploring what they’re capable of achieving within their lives, careers, company culture and leadership. She is passionate about empowering her clients - standing with them and for them - so they have the tools to create extraordinary results.