I recall last year’s Lagos Marathon and how the first three people weren’t even Nigerians. Now, I had some of my friends that participated in the race and some were just so confident they would win. A few of them were athletes. By the time they got back, they met me laughing. They then started telling me how the goal of a marathon isn’t to finish first but to finish. Really, I just knew for those my friends it would be difficult. I mean, one of them downed one big plate of eba the night before… How could he have won? When there were people who had been training for months. You get what I mean? Hehehe!
Every athlete have rules they adhere to such that they are able to fully participate in their chosen sports and excel too. They have to go through rigorous training and the likes to keep fit till the time of their “show-off” (as I love to call it). Also, their diet is very determinant to how well they perform.
A few basic nutrition rules…
Build a consistently healthy diet. Ensure it is high-quality and not bars and energy drinks. Most athletes want to get leaner, to stay in shape. That is a great idea, in fact, it is a must for every athlete. Just make sure you don’t do it at the detriment of your health.
Get enough food. With the kind of training athletes go through, it is only fair to their bodies that they have enough food. Especially endurance athletes. Like I said earlier, the fear of gaining weight deters them from getting enough. Make sure you eat the right foods and in the right proportion not more and definitely not less.
Eat at the right time. So it is not all about breakfast, lunch and dinner. It goes beyond that. For athletes, it is extremely important to know when to eat especially on a game night. Even if you are eating the right food and the right quantity, if the timing is wrong, it could affect your game negatively. Avoid eating greasy foods on the day of your sporting event. Also, avoid eating at least a hour before your game begins because digestion process consumes energy. And we need that energy for the game.
Finally, your water bottle should be your best friend. As much as possible avoid dehydration. And because you sweat a lot, it is easier for you to get dehydrated. Although thirst is a sign of dehydration, don’t wait till you are thirsty before your drink water. Make it a habit, in and out of games, ensure you remain hydrated.