Its not about hitting a PR every day when you are 20, but to be able to train all your life. For that reason improving longevity in athletes and sport passionate is our priority.
If you are an athlete, it is important that you are able to participate in your sport for as long as you possibly can.
It doesn’t just take great programming, lifting shoes, wrist wraps and knee sleeves to assure that you are performing to the best of your ability for as long as you can. Injuries happen. Recovery can suffer over time. You’re not the same athlete at 35 as you were at 25. You want to avoid injury, maintain strength and speed, and make sure you aren’t missing training days due to illness, injury or lack of recovery. Without the proper nutrient intake, there is no doubt that your recovery and performance will suffer in the long run.
Start putting in the work for proper nutrition, recovery and training practices sooner rather than later!
Aging is a given, but there are certain steps you can take to lessen the impact and keep yourself in the gym for years to come. High impact sports such as CrossFit, weightlifting, triathlons and martial arts take their toll on your body, and as you grow older you will note that your body isn’t as resilient as in earlier years. Injuries become more common and take longer to heal. Six hours of sleep just doesn’t cut it anymore, and you can feel the difference with just one day of lower quality meals. We want to make sure you aren’t missing out on training days in a sport you love- so check out these essentials tips to making sure you train your best, for as long as possible.
Make sure you are eating enough quality protein.
Protein is an essential nutrient, and the amino acids that your body needs to build and maintain muscle mass, recover tissues from injury, and stay healthy are key to keeping you active and healthy over the years. Additionally, animal proteins such as fish and red meat have important nutrients such as creatine, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and iron that your body needs to stay healthy. If you do choose to supplement with protein powder, make sure it comes from a quality source!
Eat enough healthy fats, and think about supplementing with fish oil.
Our modern diet can wreak havoc on our bodies and throw off the balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats, which in turn can cause issues such as chronic inflammation. As an athlete you need to be able to recover your best and fight off illness and injury. Make sure your diet includes sources of healthy fats such as walnuts, fatty fish, egg yolks, avocado and high quality olive oil. Supplementing with a fish oil supplement can help recovery and reduce inflammation in the body, and can help reduce risk of certain cardiovascular diseases.
Eat enough fiber, and load up on fresh vegetables and fruit. It seems like almost daily a new study comes out that proves yet again how important a healthy gut biome is to our overall health and wellness. Fiber, from both soluble (nuts, seeds, beans, avocado) and insoluble (carrots, potatoes, berries) sources, can help you maintain a healthy gut and immune system. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are full of micronutrients- vitamins and minerals that your body needs to complete essential processes in the body such as metabolism and brain function!
Keep processed food and sugar intake low to non existent.
Processed foods and sugar have an oxidative effect on the body and can raise inflammation levels. For an athlete, this can have major repercussions! Making sure you are focusing on whole, real foods and limiting your intake of highly processed foods, low quality cooking oils and added sugars reduces your risk of chronic inflammation. In turn, low levels of inflammation allow for healthy joints, digestion and recovery!
Add Vitamin D to your routine.
For us lucky people that can spend time in the sun every day, great! However, most of us are not so lucky, and Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for bone health. As an athlete, a broken bone can take you out of your sport of choice for a LONG time- so anything you can do to avoid the risk, the better. Include more foods like fatty fish and seafood, whole eggs and mushrooms, or try a supplement to give you a boost. Check out THIS BLOG POST for more information about Vitamin D supplements!
So what do you really need to be focusing on to make sure you can train, compete and enjoy your sport for as long as possible?
These essentials, plus a dedication to recovery, and attention to your biofeedback as you age can help you stay in the game for as long as possible.
As an athlete, the worst thing that can happen is that your career is cut short due to an event or injury that could have been prevented with proper attention to detail. First and foremost, health comes first, and you’ll notice that these essentials don’t just contribute to performance in the gym, but to overall health as you get older. A diet rich in whole, real foods, accompanied by good recovery, proper supplementation and a well planned training program are your keys to success!