9 Foods an Athlete Would Never Eat

You may not be a particularly athletic person, but there is always something to be learnt from those nutritionists who advise athletes as to their diets. The bottom line is that athletes need to be healthy, fit and at the top of their game to compete successfully. Whether you want to shed a few pounds, stop wheezing when you run for the bus or want to improve whatever amateur physical recreation you indulge in, it cannot be unhelpful to hear which foods an athlete would never eat and why. You could ignore this advice of course, or seek further information (and there are always many conflicting views and caveats/angles when it comes to discussing healthy eating) but you ignore it at your peril.
An athlete’s diet is more than just calories in and calories out—it’s fuel for performing. The right foods increase your energy, promote muscle growth, and aid in muscle repair (and general health). The wrong ones set you back. Or worse. Foods absent in nutrition like artificial sweeteners have no place in an athlete’s diet, or in your diet. A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips used to be an old saying in the UK. It still applies. You want food that provides you with goodness, not food that does nothing except load up your fat cells. Here we go:
Canned soup might be convenient, but because they have to have a long shelf price, they are over- processed and often have added sodium (salt). That equals high blood pressure and little nutritional value. The solution: make your own soups. They are easy to freeze.
Rice cakes have long held a “healthy” reputation in the panoply of “good” fields, but the staple diet snack is practically empty—both nutritionally speaking and often in terms of flavour. They do boast a low calorie count, but then so does eating air. Athletes need calories to keep their energy levels up. And so do you. These are non-foods that will not make you feel full, satisfy you are provide you with energy.
Alcohol is tricky. Obviously it is banned anytime near an event because it can be a temporary performance enhancer, but ultimately it’s a no-no for athletes and should only be used in moderation for the rest of us. What serious athlete do you know shotguns beers or throws back shots on a regular basis? Too much booze slows muscle recovery, impairs motor skills, and decreases strength and sprint performance. It’s also a diuretic, so it dehydrates you. So athletes, just say no, for the rest of us, cut down.
We’ve been told since the Ark that artificial sugar is bad for you, but having too much of the real thing is just as bad. Too much sugar also causes a spike in insulin, priming your body to store more fat. There’s usually quite enough sugar in processed foods, so you shouldn’t have that spoonful in a tea or on your cereal.
When it comes to the next three- pastas, rice and bread, the divide is between white and not white. The bottom line is that white foodstuffs in this category are processed. That means stripped of natural nutrients and fibre. Always stick to whole-grain products; those derived from white flour are not going to give you lasting energy.
Popcorn. No no and thrice no! Saturated with unhealthy fats, huge levels of sodium, and in some cases, laced with chemicals, popcorn does not fuel an athlete’s body for a strenuous training session. It will also be a poor food for Mr and Ms Average, containing little your body will thank you for.
Granola. Looks and even sounds healthy right? Granola might seem 100% healthy with its fibrous oats as the base. Butmost versions of the cereal come stacked with high amounts of sugar, unnecessary fat, and an excess amount of calories. Do you really only have the minute ¼ cup serving recommended by nutritionists? A bowl of plain oats with a spoon or scoop of nut butter is a much better alternative.
So, athlete, aspiring athlete, or just some ordinary Joe Jo who wants to get a bit healthier, avoid the 9 foods listed here!