Nutrition Essentials for Sports Performance

Posted: September 12, 2018

Proper nutrition is essential in optimizing performance and enhancing recovery prior to and following exercise. Before an athlete participates in a training session or game it is important that they consume a proper meal containing a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to be used as energy. Without an adequate amount of carbohydrates and fats the body will not have anything to break down and use for energy, resulting in a decrease in performance. Following exercise, it is crucial that the athlete replenish their body by consuming an adequate amount of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and electrolytes such as potassium and sodium. This will allow the athlete to properly recover by rebuilding and repairing damaged muscle tissues and restoring normal body functions to prepare the athlete for their next exercise bout.


Prior to your workout, you want to eat foods that are easily digested. A few examples are plain Greek yogurt with granola and berries, whole fruit smoothies, wheat toast with peanut butter, bananas and honey, and whole grain cereal with fruit. These are all easily broken down by the body and provide good sources of energy. Following exercise, some good foods to consume to replenish our bodies are an electrolyte sports drink like BioSteel High Performance drink or Gatorade along with water, protein shakes or bars, chocolate milk, chicken/fish with dark leafy vegetables, and oatmeal with protein powder, bananas, and nuts.


Tim Kilpatrick is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist at Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Lake Forest, CA.