Free Shipping on orders of $95 or more.×

Common Nutrition Mistakes Made By Athletes

Fitness doesn’t end once you step foot out of the gym. Part of the practice relies on your discipline in the kitchen too. Your regimen and your diet are a dynamic duo that relies on each other to complete the mission of wellness, muscle growth, and sustained energy for all your fitness goals.

If you are hitting your mile mark and crushing those reps, but aren’t quite seeing the results you want, it could be poor nutrition. Take a look at these common nutrition mistakes some athletes make and see if you can learn how to swap them out for healthier habits:

Running On Empty

There are those who don’t want to work out with food in their stomach because they don’t like feeling full, or they are afraid they may get the dreaded cramps. It’s probably not recommended to have a Hungry Man styled meal before hitting the gym. In fact, it’s best to wait an hour or two after eating before you lace up those trainers. Some people are fans of just downing a cup of java before a big run or bike ride. However, working out without eating anything may hinder your performance. It can even cause your body to break down your muscle for fuel, the very muscle you’re working so hard to build. That’s not really fair to your muscles, now is it? Make it a priority to eat something light and healthy. Some great choices are toast with nut butter, a hard-boiled egg, or an SFH Whey Protein Shake. These will help you create energy and grow muscle.

Cheat Day

After a marathon run or a double Soul Cycle class, you check your Fit Tracker. Congrats, you’ve burned through more calories than the RDA allows the average joe for an entire day. That feels like a major accomplishment so it’s time to celebrate. With…a cake? Many make the mistake of feeling entitled to consume more fun food when they have a serious training regimen. Even if you don’t think you need to shed a lot of weight, the way you eat is definitely affecting your workout. You are what you eat. You may be naturally thin, but if you are running a daily 10K, a KFC bucket cool down is going to affect your strength, endurance, and clear-headedness. There is no such thing as a free pass. An athlete’s body need’s to repair and replenish itself after intense training and it makes it more difficult after binging on cheeseburgers and Pepsi. Part of training includes the healthy eating plan. Extend your workout into the pantry and refuel with a meal packed with vitamins, nutrients, and lean protein. If you are busy and on-the-go, make a quick shake with a single serving packet of  SFH Recovery Whey Protein Powder.

The Replacements

Most energy bars are actually meal replacement bars. When eaten as a snack with a full meal eaten shortly afterward, you might be doubling your calories for the day. Some energy bars can have upwards of 500 hundred calories and are loaded with sugar. So beware when picking which pick me up to hold you over until your next chow time. If you don’t want every day to be like Thanksgiving, realize the caloric impact those little bars can have. Think of that bar like a mini-meal and next time you eat, compensate and cut back. Have a light meal like lean meats with vegetables or a salad.

In addition, many rely on supplements to fuel them rather than getting their nutrition from food, which is a clear case of Opposite Day. While it is a sad fact that most of today’s processed food is nutrition deficient, the best way to get on the health bandwagon is to eat a well-balanced diet. According to Harvard Health, Dr. Howard Sesso of Brigham and Women’s hospital claims that as we age it becomes more difficult to absorb nutrients from food. Certain supplements can help give our bodies the vitamins and nutrients we are lacking. However, taking too many supplements can do you harm. If you O.D. on too much A or C, it could reach toxic levels. First and foremost, go with food, glorious food. Then supplement your diet. That is why they call them supplements, after all.

Chew The Fat

Fat gets a bad rap that is not entirely deserved. Sure, there are some types of fat you want to steer clear of (we’re looking at you, trans fats), but there are some that are essential to your health. We have been indoctrinated to eat a low-fat diet to stay trim, but in order to lose fat, you must eat fat. It’s hard to bend the mind around embracing the dreaded ‘enemy’, but we all need to be deprogrammed. Here are some truths: Low-fat foods are often a lie because they trade out the fat for sugar…which eventually turns to fat. Plus, when you shun fat you tend to eat more carbs because you aren’t as full. The fat you try so hard to avoid, the good kind of fat, is needed by your body for post work out recovery and muscle repair. According to Livestrong, dietary fat fuels exercise and helps the body in important functions like nutrient absorption, growth, and development. Plus, according to the Dietary Guidelines of America, about 20 % of a healthy adult’s calories should derive from dietary fats. This boosts a hormone that keeps your metabolism running, which in turn helps burn the fat. It truly does a fat lot of good.

Hail Hydra

Many athletes lowball the amount of water they need during and post workout. Dehydration can not only be a ding on high performance but ultimately be dangerous to your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, lack of liquid, in extreme cases, could cause heatstroke, kidney problems, seizures, and hypovolemic shock, which is life-threatening. Those dramatic Grey’s Anatomy scenarios can simply be avoided with a few gulps of aqua. Very Well Fit suggests drinking 16 to 24 oz. of water about an hour before a workout. During your exercise, you should take in 6 to 8 oz. for every twenty minutes that you are killing that drill. If you are going hard for more than 90 minutes you may want to consider a sports drink that can replace electrolytes. Après working that body, you want to rehydrate with about 20 to 24 oz. of water or a sports drink. If that sound like a lot more liquid than you are used to, you could be dehydrated and not even know it.