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...
Must See
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 24,857,320
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 33,000,064
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 6,578,518

Featured Videos

Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Views: 1,175,887
Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Views: 23,428
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 71,092
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,251
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,426,460
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,836
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,836
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,268

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
10 Athlete-Approved High-Protein Cereals

10 Athlete-Approved High-Protein Cereals

Every athlete knows that a good breakfast is important to start your day and fuel your morning workouts. Many experts and coaches advise athletes to...

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

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

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

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

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

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

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

The Boston Cannons' Keep It Real Eating Plan

The Boston Cannons'

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

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

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

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

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

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

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

Why You Should Say No to Diet Foods

Why You Should Say No to Diet Foods

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

Cookout Commandments: What to Eat (and Avoid) at Your Summer BBQ

Cookout Commandments: What to Eat (and Avoid) at Your Summer BBQ

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

YardBarker