2. Eat The Natural Rainbow
A hot topic amongst athletes is how to optimize recovery. I get it, no one likes to feel sore going into a workout, or like the hydrogen ions (sometimes mistakenly referred to as lactic acid) that should be building up in your muscles 30 minutes into the workout has onset and it's only the warm up. There is a simple solution here, and it's sleep. Everyone has their own optimal number, but typically for most people it's right around 7 to 8 hours. My uncle, who trained to compete in the Olympics years ago in downhill skiing, would always tell me "an hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after." Wise words to live by, and boy does it work.
4. Supplement Vitamin D
This is a big one for two main reasons: energy and mood (especially during winter months) and calcium uptake. The general rule is to supplement 600 IU twice a day, everyday, to get this important vitamin that nearly half our population is deficient in. Find out more about Vitamin D from our Registered Dietitian in the article The Sunshine Vitamin.
5. Don't Overdo The Sugar
If you are a soda drinker, your athletic career is a prime time in your life to ditch this bad habit. Your athletic performance, teeth, and digestive system will thank you. The University of Alaska Anchorage Men's Basketball staff may know who I'm talking about when I say I knew of an amazing athlete who drank nothing but Sprite, and I about passed out upon hearing this. This is NOT to say because he beat human physiology that everyone can get away with this, you are better off without soda or any extra sugar, trust me. Avoid the peaks and valleys of energy levels, and completely eliminate your desire for afternoon naps.
FACLM, M. G. (n.d.). Whole Beets vs. Juice for Improving Athletic Performance. Retrieved August 22, 2017, from https://nutritionfacts.org/video/whole-beets-vs-juice-for-improving-athletic-performance/
Haff, G., & Triplett, T. (2016). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (4th ed.). National
Strength and Conditioning Association.