Important Healthy Eating Tips | STACK

Important Healthy Eating Tips

January 16, 2013 | Jamal Baptiste

Must See Nutrition Videos

Healthy eating allows athletes to train longer at a higher intensity, promote recovery, delay fatigue and increase their level of concentration. So it's critical that athletes become regimented on what they eat, hydrate both pre- and post-workout and make smart food choices on the road. Become a nutrition-conscious, high performance athlete—elite in the weight room, on the field and at meal time.

Eating before exercise

  • Include a small amount of protein in your pre-workout meal. Protein helps build and repair muscle, so this is a critical eating habit to develop. (See Get the Most Out of Your Post-Workout Protein.)
  • Choose meals that are low in fat and high in fiber to ensure proper digestion.
  • Eat two to three hours prior to working out. An example of a good pre-workout meal: turkey or tuna sandwich with fat-free yogurt and some fruit.
  • 30 minutes to an hour before exercise, have a low-sugar sports drink with electrolytes. If you can't find one, eat some fruit

Eating after exercise

  • Immediately after your workout, have a carbohydrate-and-protein-rich shake to replace fluids and repair muscle tissue. (Check out The Best Post-Workout Carbs.)
  • Within 15 to 30 minute after your workout, eat a small snack. Example: a fruit smoothie.
  • Eat nutrient-dense foods—i.e., foods that deliver a complete nutritional package, including good amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Hydration

  • Monitor your hydration by assessing your urine color. Check it first thing in the morning and throughout the day. Dark urine indicates dehydration; light yellow or clear urine indicates a normal level of hydration.
  • Monitor your body weight before and after exercise to estimate sweat loss. It's best to get the help of a sports dietitian with this one.
  • The longer and more intense the workout, the more you perspire. Replace all the lost sweat by hydrating before, during and after a workout.
  • Watch for signs of dehydration, such as dizziness, thirst, premature fatigue and an inability to handle the entire capacity of your workout.

Eating on the road

  • When traveling with a team and forced to eat in restaurants, choose foods with plenty of nutrients.
  • Pack a water bottle or a sports drink and take in enough fluids to maintain hydration and replace fluid lost during competition.
  • Eat foods that are baked, broiled or grilled.
  • Pack a snack such as trail mix, dried fruit and sports bars.
Jamal Baptiste
- Jamal Baptiste is a strength and conditioning coach and licensed massage therapist. Baptiste has trained a wide variety of clientele, including actors, high school, collegiate...
Jamal Baptiste
- Jamal Baptiste is a strength and conditioning coach and licensed massage therapist. Baptiste has trained a wide variety of clientele, including actors, high school, collegiate...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

The Boston Cannons'

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

The Case for Red Meat

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

3 Nutrition Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make and How to Fix Them

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

Foods for Athletes: Top Trends for 2014

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

Diet Changes: 5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Plan

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes