By Lori Nedescu
Being an athlete goes beyond training & performing. It’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that requires a high level of attention on everything outside of the actual physical exertion—sleep, recovery, stretching, mental attitude, immunity, mood, body weight, food choices… Every great athlete knows that the physical strengths will only take you so far.
“An athlete’s health foundation is what truly sets one up for success.”
As a serious athlete and a board-certified sports dietitian, I have a relatively sound, health-forward diet, but even I can make improvements. Confession: I do not follow a strict diet. Instead, I make nutritious choices and aim to do what’s best 80% of the time, leaving 20% for fun. I’m finding that while it is nice to have a ‘break’ from assessing my performance diet, 20% is still a large chunk. Imagine if you slacked off on 20% of your training? Eek. As my goals get stronger, I need to re-evaluate that 20%. Those choices do not have to be perfectly on point, but they can still be choices that will be beneficial for my health instead of taking away from it.
For example, one of my 20% choices used to be Diet Coke. However, I know it is not good for my body. The research is pretty clear that soda, whether full of sugar or sugar-free, does not promote health and actually is proven to take away from it—decreasing gut microbiome by 50 percent, increasing type 2 diabetes and numerous other crazy health risks...
Luckily, I’ve found an ideal replacement that is still cold, refreshing and energizing, but is actually health-promoting, specifically when it comes to targeting my body’s nutrient needs for fitness improvements. FITAID ZERO is a researched-based, naturally flavored beverage that is specially balanced with supplemental ingredients that help athletic recovery. Now instead of grabbing a cold can that might lead to increased sugar cravings and weight gain, I can grab a cold can that might improve muscle speed, reduce muscle breakdown, strengthen mitochondria, provide antioxidants, replenish electrolytes and boost energy levels after a tough workout. This is due to the drink’s potent blend of vitamins, minerals, green tea, quercetin, turmeric, BCAAs, and CoQ10—ingredients proven to positively influence performance factors. FITAID ZERO also has (as the name suggests) no sugar! Meaning it won’t spike my blood sugar and I can rely on more whole food sources to provide the carbohydrates and calories my body requires.
C O N C L U S I O N
You don’t have to worry about being strict all the time, but do consider how those 20% choices play in to your 100%, choosing wisely whenever there are those easy, small swaps you can make to create a healthier foundation that will boost your lifestyle and ultimately improve your athletic performance.
About the Author:
Lori Nedescu is a board-certified sports dietitian, published author, and elite athlete in cycling & marathon running. You can view more of her work, follow or get in touch with her on Instagram at: @hungryforresults