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Sports Nutritional Tips

Christian Ziegert provides five sports nutrition tips for the beginner to the experienced athlete.

Good performance comes from good practice and the proper diet. It's a well-acknowledged fact that beginner athletes often struggle with under-fueling their workouts, precisely when they take on a new endurance endeavour like a marathon, half marathon, or a triathlon. A frequent misconception that beginner athletes develop is that they have to be elite in their diet and competitive in their workouts, which often leads to physical and emotional fatigue. Body composition goals become unattainable because of the nutrition disbalance, which often leads to disappointment and demotivation. To P.E.R.F.O.R.M and level up the athletic game, here are a few quick tips that will help any beginner to expert athletes keep their nutrition in resonance with their athletic ambitions.

Never exercise on an empty stomach

It is necessary to put some gas in the tank at the start of the workout. What's the best fuel? Carbohydrates. Around 30 to 60 minutes before the exercise, it is advised to eat a banana/low-fat yoghurt/ slice of a whole-grain toast/ oatmeal infused with strawberries or apple.

A suggested pre-workout meal

A substantial pre-workout meal is recommended before 90 minutes as it will help the stomach feel satisfied throughout the entire workout session. Follow the below mentioned balanced meal for the best workout experience:

  1. Natural peanut butter spread and a sliced banana on whole-grain graham crackers.
  2. A small bowl of oatmeal with fruit and chicken sausage or cottage cheese on the side.
  3. Scrambled eggs with veggies and a whole-grain toast.
  4. Low-fat fruit yoghurt with a sprinkle of sliced pecans and granola.

Focus on hydration

Maintaining the water level inside the system is the best encouragement for the body to perform phenomenally in athletic exercises. With a central focus on minutes, many athletes forget how important it is to ensure their organization has balanced fluids and electrolyte levels. It is important to remember that the more we sweat, the more fluid we need to replace. Dehydration can often lead to consistent fatigue during the exercising sessions. It should be known that to reach peak performance; the appropriate diet has to be accompanied by proper water intake.

Vital Vitamins and Muscular Minerals

Athletes depend on strong bones, without a doubt and calcium ensures that. Many teen athletes ignore their vitamin and calcium balance and focus later on external supplements, which might or might not be suitable to pursue at a young age, i.e. when the body is still growing. To protect the body from stress fractures, it is critically important to consume foods that are naturally good in calcium like dairy foods, yoghurt, cheese, and low-fat milk. Apart from this, to get the iron, the body needs, eat lean meat, poultry, fish, iron-fortified cereals, and leafy vegetables.

Keeping the calcium, vitamin, and mineral balance naturally good in the system, the most effective way is to design veggies and fruit-rich diet, divided into adequate amounts and taken at appropriate times in a day. A healthy diet will ensure a powerful sports performance and good health.

Gain from the power of Protein

Although from our regular diets, we do get natural protein, when a workout or athletic exercises come into a routine, a little extra protein intake from the standard is required to be maintained. Also note, that daily intake of protein to build strong and large muscles is a complete myth. Muscle growth only comes from regular training and a balanced protein-rich diet. Follow the below-mentioned protein shake recipe explicitly designed for beginner to expert athletes:

  1. 200g of Greek Yogurt
  2. 30g of Blueberries
  3. 50g of pineapple (chopped)
  4. Whey protein isolate-1 scoop
  5. Water (to balance the taste)
  6. Cashew nuts (according to taste)
  7. Pinch of cinnamon

Blueberries and pineapple will act as an anti-oxidant, and yoghurt with whey protein will increase the protein content in the body. However, it should be noted that taking too much protein can harm the body, further causing kidney problems, calcium loss, and dehydration.

Apart from this, replace morning coffee with a power latte so as the side effects of regular caffeine are reduced in the right proportion. The recipe to it is as detailed below:

  1. 100ml of chilled coffee
  2. Vanilla whey protein-One scoop
  3. 300 ml of almond milk
  4. Cinnamon-1 Tsp
  5. Water (accordingly to balance the taste)

Say no to all the health supplements

Many athletes, even the expert ones, often opt for health supplements like protein and energy bars which do more harm than good. It should be noted that energy drinks comprise a lot of caffeine, and it is not recommended to drink them before a workout or athletic session. Please take a note of the supplements that can do the damage, and are supported by amateur trainers:

  1. Creatine
  2. DHEA
  3. Fat burners
  4. Anabolic Steroids

Please note that specifically, anabolic steroids can mess with an individual's hormone level and can cause further side effects like baldness, facial hair growth in girls, and severe mood swings. DHEA is steroid-related to testosterone and has similar side effects as caused by anabolic steroids.

Final Words

Eating too soon before athletic sessions, or directly after the meeting can create a natural imbalance in the body further slowing down the progress. Steroids are a complete no when it comes to athletes. Focus more on elevating the physical stamina of the body, by pursuing a good diet that complements both your workout regime and health. Sports nutrition only works when it is repeated every day while maintaining a proper water level in the system. Be prepared, pack snacks and plenty of water, for any marathon or athletic competition.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • ZIEGERT, C. (2019) Sports Nutritional Tips [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Christian Ziegert is the Managing Director at Verisana that offers preventive health care and laboratory test services. Christian studied at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management and has graduate accreditation in business administration and management.