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What if the reason you aren’t hitting those sporting performance targets you deeply crave is that you are making mistakes with your sports nutrition?

The first thing you need to do is to look at how much your protein intake is. Lots of athletes trip up when it comes to how much protein they are supposed to have in their food. Some will go completely overboard and load their plates with more protein than anyone can take, and others will mis-estimate things the other way.

For instance, if you’re an athlete, in general, you’ve likely read up somewhere that you need about half a gram of protein in your diet for every pound that you weigh. So if you weigh you 150 pounds, you will need about 75 g of protein in your diet every day. But it’s very easy to go overboard.

For instance, all it takes are about a half-dozen egg whites for breakfast, a couple of protein bars during the day and a couple of chicken breasts for dinner. Your diet already has twice as much protein as you need at this point. It’s poor sports nutrition that’s bound to hamstring you. When there is this much protein in your diet, you don’t leave enough room for other essentials – like the carbohydrates that you need to power your workouts.

If you stick to a vegetarian diet on the other hand, if you don’t pay attention to what exactly you’re eating, you can easily go the other way and force your body to make do with very little protein. If for instance, all the protein in your diet were to come from a couple of egg whites a day and half a cup of chick peas in a salad, that would be no more than 15 g of protein. You will be actually losing muscle when you train this way. If you go with a nontraditional diet, you really have to pay close attention to what you’re eating –the way a dietitian would.

Iron intake is another area where athletes trip up very often. You will find poor sports nutrition to do with iron in lots of athletes – particularly women. If you don’t have enough iron in your diet, what you would get is anemia – your blood doesn’t have enough material to go on to transport oxygen all around your body adequately.

You’re always tired, you’re always performing at half capacity and so on. It’s not just the poor countries out there that have problems with this. One out of five female college basketball players right here have this. One out of two female soccer players in America have this too.

If you’re regularly tired out, do get your blood tested. Thankfully though, it’s easy to fix an iron deficiency problem. Usually, you’re just losing iron because you’re menstruating every month. You just need to fix this by bringing lots of cereals and red meat into your diet.

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