I’m a Sports Nutritionist and these are by far the 3 most common issues I see with athletes.

Question: “You have been meeting clients for many years And the You are an elite mountain athlete. What are the three topics you see people getting wrong in their approach to tolerance nutrition? “

As a sports nutritionist who works with athletes on a daily basis, I can tell you I’ve seen it all. And that should come as no surprise – the world we live in is awash with (wrong) information on a daily basis. all of this! Don’t eat it! This food is healthy! This food group is unhealthy! This diet is the key to performance! Take this supplement, promise it will make you run kelly fast!

Humans face the process of replacement 200 decisions about food every dayHowever, most of us can’t even decide what to serve for dinner tonight. Scrubbing through the huge amount of nutritional information thrown at our faces every day through social media, the news, the athletes we admire, and our peers can be stressful and stressful, even for a trained dietitian.

As a general consumer of media and as an athlete, I totally understand this. For this reason, I have the most sympathy for athletes who come to me feeling completely lost about what they should and shouldn’t eat, and what they can do to improve their performance through nutrition.

That’s why I started taking close notes on some of the most frequently asked questions from my endurance athlete clients. Here are three of the most common nutrition issues I see:

Problem #1: Not eating enough

The biggest problem I see is that athletes don’t eat enough. Training and life are huge stressors, and while most athletes have really good intentions of eating enough, they are often unaware of how much they really need to eat that stressor.

There are many things that can complicate this, such as a change in appetite after a run, a lack of fuel during a run, or just the number of hours you spend on your feet, which can take away from the time you spend eating. It can be really hard to eat enough, so athletes need to devote as much time, effort and attention to eating as they do in training, or to comparing the specifics of how the Hoka Speedgoat 5 differs from the Speedgoat 4.

Chronic under-eating, whether intentional or accidental, can lead to a variety of hormonal changes that can negatively affect your immune system, put you at risk for infection, and negatively affect your performance.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it until the day I die – a true diet full of nutrients and moderation, which brings us both physical and emotional satisfaction, is the secret to performance.

I always tell athletes, when in doubt, eat more! It is rare for an athlete to eat so much, even if he really tried. Double your servings, add extra snacks, eat more before, during and after a run, always have dessert, and keep fun foods around the house – these things can help an athlete reach their daily calorie intake.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of adding avocados to anything and everything I can—tacos, toast, crackers, rice bowls, even smoothies. There is no easier and more delicious way to increase your calories, micronutrients, and healthy fats. Or my personal favorite: the “pint of ice cream a night” tradition, which is the most fun and delicious way to get an extra 1,000 calories!

Issue No. 2: Belief in a Silver Bullet.

Just as you cannot bypass a bad diet, you cannot take a combination of supplements to bypass poor food choices. I’ve seen athletes with a supplement list that’s longer than my weekly buy list.

While it may seem like the easy way out, it won’t always replace the benefits that come from eating real foods that are rich in nutrients. While there are some exceptions for athletes following a restricted diet, and those with health problems, it is possible for a person to get all the nutrients they need from a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet. For example, vegetarians may increase their dietary iron intake by making chili peppers, which combine iron-rich beans and tomatoes. The vitamin C in tomatoes can enhance iron absorption in these iron-rich, heme-free food sources.

RELATED: A nutrition therapist and professional runner discusses the link between food, mood, and running

Supplements such as premium greens, mega-doses of multivitamins, and meal replacement powders are attractive due to their ease of use, but are often just a short-term solution with short-term benefits. Real foods that are rich in nutrients will be better absorbed and tolerated since real foods contain a host of things like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. These work synergistically to provide your body with what it needs to function well and effectively.

More isn’t always better either. When we take certain types of supplements, we run the risk of toxicity, especially with regard to fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and iron. This can damage internal organs and lead to severe and long-term damage.

If we take in high levels of water-soluble vitamins (B vitamins and vitamin C), we’re actually making really expensive urine, urinating everything our bodies don’t need. Either way, we may be throwing money down the toilet (literally) or preparing ourselves for potential health problems in the future. We are less likely to reach these toxic levels when we are able to consume these nutrients through food, and your body will use them better.

(Photo: Hermes Rivera)

Problem #3: Dieting in the hopes of doing better.

You name it, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen athletes go on restrictive diets like keto, paleo, and gluten-free, and even grotesque diets like grapefruit and bacon, hoping that this “magic” diet will easily help them achieve a 50,000 PR benefit in quickly. from their fingers.

Most often, the athlete is affected by professional athletes who follow the same type of diet, or perhaps someone has succeeded in a running group while following one. And while I’m sure there are some individuals who have been successful with specific, restrictive diets, it’s by no means the secret to unleashing your potential or improving your performance.

Related: 5 Run Nutrition Myths to End Now

Food plays many roles for us – physically, emotionally and socially – and its role in our physical and mental health is multifaceted. If we restrict foods (and thus happiness!) in the hopes of increasing our performance, our performance will undoubtedly be affected in the long run. If mental stress affects our bodies in the same way that physical stress affects the cellular level, then the stress associated with restriction and diet will negatively contribute to our overall health, affecting our performance and longevity in sports.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it until the day I die – a true diet full of nutrients and moderation, which brings us both physical and emotional satisfaction, is the secret to performance.

Alex Borsuk Hasenohr, MS, is a sports nutritionist and professional runner at Dynafit. She is passionate about helping athletes reach their full potential through the use of hands-on nutrition, which is She can be contacted through her website.

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