Dieting as an athlete can be a dangerous endeavor as you are expending large amounts of energy on a regular basis making you prone to injury. If you are an athlete and you suffer from an injury related to a lack of proper nutrition, our physical therapy in Lindenhurst, NY at Advance Physical Therapy can help.
Today there are many trend diets like Paleo, Whole30, plant-based diets, intermittent fasting, low-carb high-fat, and others. These diets have attracted the attention of people all over the country including athletes. Athletes at the high school, college or professional level need to exercise caution when deciding to change their diet. Most of these diets are for people who do not train rigorously daily.
Athletes require a full, balanced diet consisting of the three main macronutrients (fat, protein, carbs) to be able to perform at the highest level. Know the facts of what an athlete should be eating and should be avoided during your heavy training season. If you have suffered an injury due to malnutrition, making an appointment for physical therapy in Lindenhurst, NY can help to not only heal your injury but to educate you on proper nutrition for your goals, Contact Advance Physical Therapy for more information about our services.
Popular Trend Diets and Why an Athlete Should Avoid Them
Many of these diets consist of eating habits that are not optimal for high-performance training. A ‘diet’ generally consists of going into a calorie deficit in hopes of losing weight. This is not what an athlete needs to perform at a high level. Athletes need calories that convert into ATP and gives them the energy to sustain themselves through high-intensity training and competition.
One of the common trends among these diets is restricting carbohydrates. A common misconception is that all carbs are bad. An excess intake of refined carbs is what can be detrimental to athletic performance. These carbs consist of sugar-sweetened beverages, pastry treats, white bread, and white pasta. Whole carbs, on the other hand, are ‘good’ carbs that our body needs. Examples of whole carbs include vegetables, fruit, potatoes, legumes, and whole grains. For athletes, carbs are the energy that they thrive on. They rely on carbs to allow them to perform during competition at their highest level. Restricting an athlete of carbs can have a devastating effect on their performance as well as their health.
What Is Intermittent Fasting? Should an Athlete Avoid This?
An intermittent or time-restricted fasting diet consists of fasting for about 12-16 hours per day, giving yourself about an 8-hour window of time to eat. You can do this by beginning to fast at night, then skipping breakfast the next morning, and eating your first meal around lunchtime. As an athlete, you cannot expect to thrive at your given sport if you are skipping meals and restricting your eating patterns. If a training session takes place during your fasting period, you are burning calories that you don’t have.
Your body will eventually begin to burn calories from your muscles resulting in a loss of lean muscle mass. Not only will you not be able to perform at a high or even average level, but you are putting yourself at risk by not giving your body what it needs during a substantial training period. If you have suffered an injury or are dealing with discomfort related to an improper diet, contact our physical therapy in Lindenhurst, NY for more information.
What Is The Proper Diet for Optimal Performance?
As stated previously, an athlete needs calories! An athlete should consume mostly whole foods, avoiding processed foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, protein, and whole grains. Your diet should be balanced with protein, fats, and carbs, with carbs being consumed before and after workouts for optimal recovery. An athlete should include a mix of protein and carbs following a heavy training session to help replace the muscle glycogen burned during a competition.
Physical Therapy In Lindenhurst, NY
Most importantly be smart and eat when you’re hungry! The last thing an athlete should be doing is trying to starve themselves. So, eat a balanced diet and give your body what it needs so you can perform at your highest possible level during competition. If you need proper performance nutrition advice or have suffered an injury due to malnutrition, our experienced team at Advance Physical Therapy can help you get on the right track. Book an appointment with our physical therapy in Lindenhurst, NY today.