Something I’ve been thinking about lately is something that I even struggle with sometimes, and that’s eating for performance.
When you’re very active, it’s easy to let your diet slip sometimes because you know you’ll “run it off” or “burn it in the gym” later but does that mean that we are benefitting our performance if we have that burger and fries at lunch or that pizza for dinner?
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about enjoying a good indulgence sometimes. When we work our asses off, we deserve to treat ourselves from time to time but the problem is when those “cheats” become too frequent and you have that marathon runner with a beer belly because they just love to drink beers on a nightly basis.
For some people, that might be fine. If you’re healthy, that’s what really matters at the end of the day but it’s not just about appearances, either. If you really want to get better and improve your mileage, your speed or your recovery then it might be time to tweak that diet.
Get better at telling yourself “no” and reaching for the healthier option that is going to help your performance. I know that can be really tough here in South Louisiana when everywhere you turn there’s another BBQ, birthday party, mardi gras season, crawfish season, etc. I am well aware that Abita Strawberry is in season now and I definitely intend on enjoying some, and I’m looking forward to a delicious strawberry daiquiri at the Strawberry Fest this year.
All I’m saying is try to tell yourself “no” a little more often and practice more self discipline for the sake of your performance. Swimsuit season is around the corner anyway, so we have multiple reasons to shed our winter “fluff.” Boost your performance and look better on the beach, win-win.
Maybe instead of carb-loading on pasta you can carb-load on fruit. A good example of that is pineapple. It’s not only a high sugar fruit that is delicious, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that is great for your recovery. The list goes on and on, there are countless benefits to all fruit & veggies and your diet will always benefit from some extra servings of those.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. As the weather gets warmer, it’s even more important to stay hydrated since you will be sweating more. Coconut water is nature’s sports drink that is high in electrolytes and also antioxidants, so it’s a perfect way to cool down after a run.
And last but not least, good luck to all the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon participants this weekend. I’ll be doing the half marathon, come say hey if you see me!
By Melody Newman