Athletes see each meal as an opportunity to recharge and refuel – while the best foods for athletes aren’t obvious, the worst foods are harder to identify. There are some foods that athletes should never eat because they know the wrong foods can affect their performance. A disastrous diet is more likely to set you back and have a negative effect.
These are the most common foods that athletes won’t touch.
Whether it may be a coke diet or a coke zero, sugar-sweetened beverages are something to keep to a minimum. Not only do they offer no health benefits, but consuming artificially sodas and some carbonated drinks can even cause them to gain weight – and that’s the last thing they want.
- White Bread
It has been known for a long time that white bread and refined grains in general aren’t nutritious. This is because refined white flour is made from stripping the fiber, wheat germ, and essential B vitamins from the wheat kernel, leaving nothing left but just a highly processed food product. It’s also very low in fiber.
No athlete would excessively consume alcohol. An occasional drink is fine for special occasions, but not when someone is serious about their training. Muscle health is the key to flourishing athletic performance, and studies have shown that alcohol can rob you of your hard work in the weight room. Too much booze slows muscle recovery, impairs motor skills, and decreases strength and sprint performance.
- Protein Bars and Energy Bars
You may be thinking, “isn’t that what they need?” Well, nope. Protein bars and energy bars are quick and convenient, but are highly processed. Don’t think that these bars can do for your bodies, because they’re won’t – as some protein bars contain as much as 8 grams of saturated fat. There are many other foods that can be sources of protein and energy.
A healthy cereal should supply you with a bowl full of nutrition: low calories, high fiber, high protein and packed with vitamins and minerals. Some cereals contain immeasurable amounts of sugar. Too much sugar also causes a spike in insulin, priming your body to store more fat.
An active person’s diet should contain generally contain whole foods, such as lean meats, low-fat dairy, different types of fish, fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. It doesn’t mean that you should never eat what’s written on the list above, but what’s important is that the majority of your diet should be based around nutrient-dense foods.
Your eating habits and diet dictate how you perform, and there are certain foods you should avoid for optimal performance.