Athletes face a number of challenges as they work toward their personal goals in training and competition. Setbacks due to injury, illness or just plain flat performance due to fatigue can plague an athlete sometimes as a direct result of poor nutrition. Prior to our research and development efforts, we interviewed and worked with a number of athletes from various sports in order to learn first hand what they perceived to be their most common problems related to performance. It became clear to us that many of their concerns were related to nutrition and diet. Some athletes were aware that something was missing in their nutrition plan, some were able to isolate their problems to a particular part of their plan, others were aware of the symptoms, but had not connected the dots to nutrition as the potential problem. Among the most common symptoms associated with performance and nutrition was GI distress. Every athlete had their own particular way of expressing it (bloat, stomach upset, “Gut-rot”, etc.) but it all came down to some sort of noticeable ailment during training and competition that created a significant barrier in their ability to enjoy the day, if not simply finish it altogether.
Right behind this concern was muscle cramping. There is no ambiguity about this issue. When you get it, you are immediately and acutely aware of it. Although the jury is still out as to the exact cause of muscle cramping, there is a significant amount of science behind hydration and that supports it’s effectiveness at mitigating muscle cramps. This also plays directly into nutrition, both before and during training and competition.
The other major factor that came out of our research is fatigue or low energy levels. Certainly proper rest and recovery have a major impact on preventing fatigue, but nutrition also plays a key role. Dietary choices that include excessive amounts of simple and processed carbohydrates can and do contribute significantly to energy sapping fatigue induced from sugar crashes.
While there are many other factors that influence or contribute to an athlete’s performance, these are the three we felt were most critical to alleviate. We have broken down the information into athlete categories. Click on the athlete description that best suits you to learn more about the challenges and solutions that can help put you on the road to performance excellence.