Hydration: Many athletes remember to hydrate close to exercise, but it is critical to hydrate throughout the day as well. A majority of our body is made of water; therefore, to train at our best and feel our best, we need to hydrate our body regularly throughout the day.
- A quick note on alcohol: Alcohol can impede your body's ability to recover and repair. Your body prefers to detoxify alcohol after it is consumed. This can impede all processes of recovery like nutrient absorption and protein synthesis. Performance gains may be decreased, and recovery becomes a longer process. Practical recommendations: if you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation, and drink plenty of water. Avoid drinking alcohol around big events and training days to allow your body to adequately recover.
More: The Diet Detective: Hydration Basics
Supplements: There are two key supplements often discussed with athletes -- fish oil and vitamin D. Vitamin D has many essential functions in the body and affects many systems and processes, including calcium absorption. The same goes for omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish and supplementary fish oil. Omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory functions in our body. This can aid in faster recovery and optimal health for athletes.
More: Do I Need to Take So Many Supplements?
Building a foundation of solid nutrition patterns will allow your body to better adapt to the training you complete. Training will become easier, muscle aches and pains may diminish and you will see yourself progressing more quickly towards your goals. The pairing of these baseline recommendations with sport specific recommendations will help you achieve your best performances, whether a specific race or event, or simply putting your best foot forward when you complete a workout.
Sign up for your next race.