If like me you consider yourself a modern athlete, you also understand the importance and the different nutritional needs compared with the general public. We usually require more calories and macronutrients to maintain strength and energy to compete at our optimum level.
As we prepare for the off-season, pre-season, or in-season training sessions, the focus tends to be on things we can see and measure. In midst of all the questions, we might have, in my opinion, the most important one should be: Where am I going to get the energy to achieve all these desired training outcomes?
The nutritional aspect of any athlete’s training program may be the most overlooked, yet is one of the most important components to the success of the program. This analogy has been made many times before, but think of your body as a car - you can have the newest and shiniest model on the market, but if you aren’t putting the proper fuel in the car, you won’t be going anywhere.
But Can All Athletes Benefit From the Same Diet?
Your sport, and the position you play within that sport, will determine the diet that is best for you. For example, someone who’s an endurance athlete will have a completely different nutritional demand than someone who’s more of an explosive, power, and strength type athlete. A marathon runner will ultimately have a different nutritional need than someone who lifts heavyweights at the gym for example.
In addition to consuming sufficient amounts of calories and macronutrients, modern athletes may also require more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for peak recovery and performance. Moreover, they may need to consider meal timing and ensure adequate hydration.
When we sweat in the gym or outside we lose water, yes, but also electrolytes. We lose sodium, potassium, and magnesium. It is extremely important that as we hydrate, we make sure it is with a balance of electrolytes as well. As athletes, staying on top of hydration is the best thing you can do to set yourself up for success. Compared to the above nutrition guidelines above, the guidelines for hydration are fairly simple. Try to drink about ½ of your body weight in fluid ounces each day, as a minimum. Of course, you can drink more, if needed, especially if you are training in high heat or have multiple training sessions per day.
REMEMBER: Athletes may need to work with a sports nutritionist, preferably a registered dietitian, to ensure they consume enough calories and nutrients to maintain their body weight, optimize performance and recovery, and plan a timing strategy that suits their body, sport, and schedule.
Ultimately, taking steps towards better mental and physical health will complement one another. When you have a good attitude and you feel well physically, you’ll feel less vulnerable to stress. Moreover, you’ll feel as though the world has more possibilities and there’s more to look forward to during your workouts.
Paul Millsap, 4x NBA All-Star and Hydra-Guard Partner has always made his nutrition and health a priority, which reflects his elite performance and extremely successful career in the NBA. Paul’s ability to maintain playing at the highest level has been nothing short of amazing. It's a professional career that every athlete strives for.
The key for longevity in any athlete’s career is to take care of their bodies first and that's something that Paul has obviously done very well. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink caught Paul’s attention in early 2019, when he officially partnered with them in efforts to bring the brands healthy benefits more readily available to more households across the country.
"Being a professional athlete naturally encourages me and my family to live a healthy lifestyle. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink raises the bar to unprecedented heights with its beverage innovation. It’s packed with electrolytes, and being an all natural sports drink with low sugars is a game changer, this product is changing the industry," says Paul.