Nutrition on a Budget: An Elite Athlete’s Guide
Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of being an elite athlete. The way an athlete treats their body before and after workouts on a daily basis can maximize their overall performance. Before making a grocery run, athletes should make a plan in order to stay organized, save money, and choose healthy options. It is imperative for elite athletes to prioritize nutrition and hydration to ensure their bodies are ready to go for training or competition. To learn more about athletic nutrition for collegiate athletes check out this article.
Here are a few tips for nutrition on a budget.
Plan ahead: Planning ahead ensures that athletes take the necessary steps to fuel their body. Athletes should plan ahead by packing snacks, bringing water, or making their own meals. This helps athletes avoid buying take-out or purchasing overpriced items. Athletes should never purchase plastic water bottles from a store. Instead, they should have a reusable water bottle to drink and refill throughout the day. Refueling takes precedence for elite athletes, and players should never skip meals to save time or money. Athlete performance will dramatically decrease if players do not consume a sufficient amount of nutrients.
Fresh produce: Fresh produce is typically more beneficial for athletes than canned or frozen food. Fresh fruits and vegetables are easier to buy and less expensive when they are in season. Some fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last long before expiring, so athletes should buy in small amounts to avoid throwing away spoiled produce. At certain times of the year, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables may be less expensive than fresh. In this case, for canned items, athletes should choose fruit with 100% fruit juice and vegetables with low sodium.
Athletic nutrition based on food groups and price categories: Certain foods like beans, peas, lentils, sweet potatoes, eggs, peanut butter, canned salmon, and oats tend to be less expensive and contain valuable nutrients. Recognizing which items to buy regularly and which to purchase on occasion will help reduce unnecessary costs for an athlete. On average, the following popular foods fall into these price categories:
Knowing the price of foods can help elite athletes trim food costs while still supplying their bodies with nutritious fuel to optimize their athletic performance. Athletes can stay ahead of their competition and their budget by preparing food that supports a healthy and balanced diet. To learn more about athletic nutrition check out this article about post-workout nutrition.