Top 5 Nutrition Tips that will help You Reach Macronutrient and Micronutrient Balance
Every experienced athlete, regardless of their preferred sport, should know that one of the keys to top performance on a daily basis is healthy nutrition. Without your daily dose of the right macronutrients and micronutrients, there is nothing to fuel your body, make it perform better, and grow. This is why you need to know exactly what you should eat before and after working out in order to achieve the results you’re looking for.
You might think macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) are the key pillars of a healthy diet you should focus on, and while that is true in part, you shouldn’t neglect your vitamins and minerals if you want to ensure longevity, and take your fitness game to the next level. With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at the five nutrition tips that will help you reach macronutrient and micronutrient balance.
Determine your ideal daily intake
The great thing about living in this modern day and age is that you have an unobstructed access to the world’s largest pools of scientific data, all readily available online. So, when in doubt, just Google it. However, the purpose of your research shouldn’t be to take studies at face value, but instead to be critical and analytical of their meaning, and optimize your daily intake of calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients to your specific goals.
For example, bodybuilders and strength athletes should emphasize protein in their diets more than endurance athletes, while the latter group needs to focus on carbohydrate consumption in order to fuel their bodies with a sustained energy source. Likewise, athletes from every sport should emphasize vitamin and mineral intake in order to support numerous healthy processes in the body, ranging from proper muscle contraction and CNS recovery, all the way to increased performance.
List your sources of macro and micronutrients
Once you’ve established your daily macro and micronutrient requirements, you should make a list of the top foods that will allow you to hit your daily mark. Your focus should be on tailoring your nutrition towards optimal macronutrient intake, as tailoring your diet around vitamins and minerals can be quite tricky and ineffective (more on that in a bit). Athletes looking to improve health and performance should focus on:
- Complete protein sources such as dairy, eggs, fish, and lean meats.
- Rich, slow-digesting carbohydrate sources such as whole grains (oats, rice, barley, quinoa, and others), legumes (lentils, peas, kidney beans, etc.), various nuts and seeds, and vegetables of all kinds. You can also throw in some seasonal fruits if you want a fast-digesting carb source.
- Healthy fat sources such as fatty fish, avocado, cheese, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds, olive oil, whole eggs, and more.
Now simply mix these sources together to create healthy meal options you can eat daily without your diet plan getting stale.
Don’t tailor your nutrition around vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are absolutely essential to your long-term performance and well-being, but that doesn’t mean that you should tailor your nutrition around them. The reason being that crucial micronutrients, like magnesium, have poor bioavailability. This means that you can’t get enough of the stuff from whole foods alone.
The answer to this problem is daily supplementation. Supplements such as natural curcumin are a key piece a healthy diet plan, as they will ensure that your body ingests and metabolizes as much of the micronutrient as possible without having to eat large amounts of foods just to get your daily recommended dose. So, don’t tailor your nutrition around micronutrients, instead supplement daily with the essential vitamins and minerals to create macronutrient and micronutrient balance.
Make an eating schedule and stick to it
Of course, all of this will be for naught if you don’t stick to a realistic eating schedule. You can have the best diet plan tailored especially for you by the best nutrition experts in the world, but if you’re not consistent, you won’t get the results you want.
The keyword here is consistency, as healthy nutrition is a journey, not a destination. Whether you’re doing intermittent fasting, or if you’re eating a balanced diet throughout the day, you need to stay consistent, and do this over and over again to experience the long-term health benefits.
Learn the art of meal prepping
To make such a lifestyle feasible, you need to master the art of meal prepping. It might seem like a bother at first, but prepping your meals for the upcoming week is the single best way to ensure that your diet stays on point and that you avoid falling prey to unhealthy snacks and junk food. Simply devote a lazy Sunday afternoon to prepping the majority of your meals for the next five days, organize the individual macronutrient sources into Tupperware along with your supplements, and you’ll have yourself an air-tight diet plan that will get you results.
As an athlete, you know just how important it is to tailor your diet according to your daily fitness requirements. Use these tips to optimize your nutrition and take your fitness game to the next level.