9 Worst Foods and Drinks an Athlete Should Limit or Never Eat

Whether it is toning the body, increasing the stamina, or carving out the abs, a major key to success relates to the foods eaten.

Athlete on Starting Blocks

A well-planned and nutritious diet is certain to help aid in muscle repair, promote muscle growth, and increase energy. A disastrous diet is more likely to set you back and have a negative impact on the health and well-being.

1 – Alcohol

Achieving a high level of fitness needs dedication and consuming the right things in moderation. Alcohol is certain to inhibit the physical performance. A regular intake of alcoholic beverages can lead to decreased sprint and strength performance, impaired motor skills, and slow muscle recovery. It will also speed up the dehydration process. Also, there is a greater risk of injury and illness because alcohol slows the ability to heal and depresses the immune system.

2 – Blended Beverages

Coffee has the potential to benefit athletes in certain ways, from helping to enhance performance, is packed with antioxidants, and offers great fuel. But a blended coffee beverage with add-ins like flavor (caramel and chocolate), cream, and milk is certain to contain a lot of empty calories and is low in nutrient density.

3 – Canned Soup

Canned soup is highly convenient for a quick snack to fill the stomach, but they are high in sodium and so processed that most health benefits are negated. The long shelf life of canned soup is major indicator that this food source isn’t much healthier than other processed snacks. A homemade or low-sodium soup is the preferred option. Avoid too much sodium as this can cause high blood pressure.

4 – Diet Soda

Artificial sweeteners or similar nutritionally void foods should be kept away from the athlete wishing to refuel. In addition to offering zero health benefits, a diet soda has the potential to increase weight gain and health problems. Artificial sweeteners can make the body believe it is receiving an intake of real food and can start to produce the fat storing hormone insulin. A diet consisting of the real thing in small quantities is more practical.

5 – Popcorn (microwave)

Popcorn popped in the microwave or bought at the concession stand should be kept from the athlete’s diet. A favorite snack for many, popcorn is packed with high levels of sodium, unhealthy fats, and often chemicals. This food product isn’t able to benefit a heavy training session or promote recover after a difficult routine. Also, the bags used in microwave popcorn often include PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), which is a type of chemical component often seen with Teflon pans. But, there is a healthier way to eat popcorn. Popping the corn in a pan with coconut oil on the stove can help to enjoy a rich source of satiating fiber and antioxidants.

6 – Rice Cakes

Rice cakes are virtually nutritionally empty. While they are low in calories, the rice cakes aren’t able to help the athlete keep up the energy levels. Also, these light snacks are certain to increase the blood sugar levels. The glycemic index of rice cake is in the region of 90.7, which isn’t far from achieving pure glucose. A preferable source of carbs is achieved by eating some fruit or English muffin.

7 – Sports-Nutrition Bars, Gels, and Drinks

Virtually all of the sports-nutrition bars, gels, and drinks offer minimal nutritional benefit and high in sugars. By eating too many of these products, there is a high chance of gaining weight, and not in a healthy way.

8 – Sugary Cereal

Real or artificial sugar is a certain no-no for the athlete. No athlete should start the day with sugary rich foods like a bowl of oat cereals and a handful of marshmallow pieces. A high intake of sugar is certain to spike the insulin level and this can prime the body to hold more fat.

9 – White Bread

White breads, rice, and pastas are acceptable, but not the best choice because the beneficial fiber and nutrients is mostly stripped out. Refined white flour is created from wheat kernels where the essential B vitamins, wheat germ, and fiber have already been removed. The left over product is highly processed and can go towards upping the insulin levels and cause weight gain and dip in energy levels. Try to eat whole-grain products as they are more likely to give the desired and long-lasting energy.

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