Hey Angels and Alphas,
We all need food not just so our bodies can function, but so we can adjust what we’re eating in order to achieve better performance inside (and outside) the gym.
Today, we’ve compiled six of the best tips by sports nutritionists that will help you do exactly that – leverage nutrition to perform better in the gym, and subsequently, have more energy in your everyday life.
Let’s get started.
#1 START WITH YOUR GOALS
First off, you should identify one or (maximum) two areas you’d like to initially work on. Start with them. If your goal is to improve your current fitness habits, you don’t need a complete overhaul. Take note of what your current habits look like right now and see if you can identify any opportunities for improvement that are in line with the goals you have for yourself. Start with small changes and see what a difference this is going to make if you’re consistent.
#2 BOOST ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE WITH PROPER PROTEIN INTAKE
Dividing your intake of protein across several meals is likely to be more impactful for your health and muscle growth in comparison to consuming all your protein in one meal. For many athletes, this can mean consuming between 20 to 40 grams of protein in every meal. If we use an example of a 165-pound athlete, they may benefit from consuming 30 grams of protein for their three main meals, plus an additional 30 grams of protein divided into two snacks. This would help reach their daily goal of 150 grams of protein.
#3 IMPROVE BLOOD PRESSURE WITH NITRATE-RICH VEGGIES
You have some leafy greens out there like spinach, lettuce, arugula, and other veggies such as beets, that have been linked to reduced blood pressure. This is partly due to their nitrate content that is eventually reduced to nitric oxide inside your body. Nitric oxide can act as a vasodilator, allowing blood to flow more easily through your blood vessels so your heart doesn’t have to pump as hard. In addition to lower blood pressure, nitrate-rich foods have been linked to improved performance in the gym in high-intensity exercise. Set yourself the goal of adding at least one extra serving of nitrate-rich leafy greens to your diet every day.
#4 INCREASE LEAN MUSCLE MASS WITH CREATINE MONOHYDRATE
While guys may seek out the latest and greatest in fitness supplements, creatine will always remain one of the most well-researched and effective supplements available. Creatine is usually found in meat as well as produced inside your body, but in miniscule amounts compared to what is found inside a creatine supplement. Supplementing with creatine has been linked to improved muscle mass, spring performance, strength, recovery, and so much more. Supplementation typically calls for a loading phase of 10-15 grams a day, followed by a daily supplementation of around 3-5 grams.
#5 SUPPORT YOUR MUSCLES WITH OMEGA-3s
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid. It’s found in fatty fish such as herring, sardines, salmon, as well as some plant-based sources. Both in adults, and within the setting of college athletes, the omega-3 index has indicated that most individuals are not meeting their ideal intake of omega-3s. Alas, this fatty acid has been linked to many potential health benefits, as well as improved recovery for athletes. Omega-3 may also aid in the preservation of muscle mass during times of injury. You should aim to consume at least 2 servings of omega-3 rich fish every week or consider supplementing.
#6 BOOST ENERGY WITH CAFFEINE
Whether you’re an early riser who works out in the morning or someone who works out after a long day at work, it’s not uncommon to turn to coffee, energy drinks, or a caffeine-rich pre-workout supplement. Caffeine has always been linked to improved endurance, muscular power, and strength gains. But you may not need as much as you think. Relatively low doses (2-3 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight) can be used for a performance benefit. This is the amount you’d find in 1 or 2 cups of coffee. Doses beyond this are unlikely to provide any further benefits.