An Athlete’s Guide to Healthy Eating

Here are some simple suggestions that active individuals and athletes should take into consideration when attempting to improve eating habits to obtain a healthier way of life and better overall performance. Carefully following these guidelines will be beneficial to you when training as an athlete and help provide an overall healthier lifestyle:

Healthy Eating for Atheltes

Image: Andy Newson /

  • Good nutrition consists of a behavior change and time management. It is easy to eat unhealthy. Eating healthy takes initiative.


  • Obtain a hobby. Avoid sitting around and munching. If you have to munch, replace foods like chips and soda with foods like pretzels and water or real fruit juices.


  • Replace unhealthy habits with good habits and unhealthy foods with healthy ones.


  • Use so called “bad” foods only as a reward and enjoy it without feeling guilty.


  • Avoid eating late at night and right before bed. Try to consume your calories in the morning and early afternoon so that your body can use the necessary calories throughout the day as an energy source.


  • Learn when, how often, and what your body needs to run and train efficiently by taking a cognitive notice of your energy levels during activity and rest. LEARN HOW YOUR BODY WORKS.


  • Be smart when you eat out. The majority of places you go to eat out will have healthy food choices on the menu, choose wisely and use caution and control!


  • EAT SLOW: Enjoy your food and let your body use energy to digest.  Eating slower helps kick on the body’s sense of fullness before you have over-stuffed yourself.


  • Eat wholesome, real foods. Stay away from high preservative, high sodium, high sugar, and high fat foods.


  • Get plenty of water. Drinking water throughout the day helps flush the body of unwanted wastes, and provides adequate hydration for training sessions.


  • This sounds funny, however, it is very true! Leave the “F” word out of your diet. Try to only eat foods that are prepared baked, boiled, broiled, or grilled. Stay away from fried and fatty foods.

By: Douglas R. Curnes MS, CPT

Douglas R. Curnes MS, CPT is a National Endurance Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) Certified Personal Trainer, and is a contributor of articles to the website. He routinely designs individualized workout programs and provides sports specific training advice to top caliber athletes.

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