What Foods Should Athletes Avoid to Maximize Performance?

As an athlete, every meal is an opportunity to refuel and reach peak performance. While convenience foods may be practical, they are not necessarily healthier than other highly processed snacks. Canned soups, for example, are often so processed and high in salts that they can overshadow any health benefits. Carbonated drinks and juices should also be avoided as they can cause stomach pain while training or competing.

Energy drinks and other beverages containing caffeine, such as soft drinks, tea and coffee, should not be consumed to rehydrate as they can contain large amounts of caffeine which can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Too much caffeine can make an athlete feel anxious or nervous, cause headaches and make it difficult to sleep at night - all of which can reduce performance. Eating sugary foods offers no nutritional value and can also cause an athlete to “fall” during training. To maximize performance, athletes should opt for whole, unprocessed foods such as oatmeal, raisins or peanut butter.

These foods provide the body with the essential nutrients it needs to perform at its best. Additionally, athletes should limit or avoid foods and ingredients that interfere with the body's nutritional and performance requirements. This includes processed snacks, carbonated drinks, energy drinks, and sugary foods. Nutrition is a key component of any athlete's training program.

At Champion's QUEST, we offer nutrition month where athletes can attend a nutrition session with their consulting coach and learn more about how to fuel their bodies for optimal performance. Eating the right foods is essential for athletes to reach their peak performance level and achieve their goals.