What Foods Should Athletes Avoid? What Foods Should Athletes Eat?

When it comes to nutrition, mixed messages and confusion often go hand in hand.

It’s funny that we have such a hard time knowing what exactly we should or shouldn’t be eating, since it’s something we all do multiple times a day. An athlete’s confusion over food is no different. It’s widely recognized that good nutrition is an integral part of any training program and essential for helping you perform at your best, but there seems to be a lack of understanding about just what makes a good athletic diet, in addition to what makes a healthy diet generally.

The fix for athletes—and for everyone else, for that matter—is to eat as wide a variety of beneficial foods as possible while avoiding or minimizing foods that have a negative impact on health, performance, or both.

Too many diets aggressively eliminate foods as a one-size-fits-all solution to better health. It’s common to experience positive results from changing up your diet in this way, though you will not know exactly why the change is working. You might benefit even more by reintroducing some of those restricted foods to maximize variety in your diet.

I believe that there is little point in eliminating foods without reason. Food, like life, is to be enjoyed. By the same token, you want to ensure that the foods you do eat are positively adding to your ability to play, train, or race to your best ability while also supporting a long and healthy life. To identify the foods that could be to blame for the issues you face, you will need to take a more careful approach.

A key component to any healthy diet is being able to enjoy food. Far more than simply sustaining life, food is social, and it is meant to be enjoyed. Customs, traditions, and connectivity to others are all wrapped up in growing, preparing, and eating food. The extent to which we enjoy food and the rituals around it is also important to health. After all, you can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mind. And there is no point in living a long, healthy life if it is not enjoyable too. Eating is something we need to do every day, multiple times throughout the day. I love food and I want to help you make your experience with food truly enjoyable, regardless of what food intolerances or sensitivities you bring to the table.

The Athlete’s Fix is designed to help you become aware of your own food intolerances, be confident in making healthy food choices, and eat the foods that are optimal for you. Once you find your best diet, better health and performance are within reach.

My new book The Athlete’s Fix will help you find your problem foods—and the foods that make you feel and perform your best. The Athlete's Fix offers a sensible, three-step program to identify food intolerances, navigate popular special diets, and develop your own customized clean diet that will support better health and performance.

Find The Athlete’s Fix in bookstores; bike, run, and tri shops; and online from VeloPress, Pip Taylor (Australian orders, please), Fishpond Australia, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, and your local independent bookseller.