TIME TO FUEL UP, NOT SLIM DOWN
You’ve got look good to feel good right? Maybe, but right now might not be the best time to “clean up your diet” if performance is a priority for you heading into your event.
Now, should you clean up your diet in terms of food quality?
Of course—that’s always the case. But, unfortunately for a lot of athletes, “cleaning up” your diet sometimes turns into restricting calories in an effort to see body composition changes.
If your abs are a bit more visible come game time when the shirt comes off, that naturally means you’ll perform better, right?
In fact, the opposite might be true.
A lot of athletes make this mistake in the weeks leading up to a demanding physical test. Now isn’t the time to be in any sort of caloric deficit.
Over the next three weeks, making sure you’re fueling your body appropriately is crucial.
That doesn’t mean you should eat everything in sight either, but it’s important to realise that body composition and performance goals don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, especially when we’re this close to game time.
Losing excess body weight can absolutely be helpful to boost performance if you have some weight to lose.
Weeks away from game day just isn’t the best time to do that.
ONE THING TO TRY THIS WEEK
If your training has been going well, don’t change much when it comes to your nutrition. The months leading up to the event where performance is a priority is the best time to tinker with nutrition and macronutrient quantities to find what works best for you. At just weeks away, however, the less change, the better.
On the other hand, if training sessions have felt off, it might be time to add some additional calories to what you’re already eating.
Focus on high-quality protein and aim for 2g per kilo of body weight per day as a rough benchmark.
If you were previously falling way short of that number, the increase in protein alone may significantly help with recovery and make you feel better almost instantly.
Bump up gradually to give yourself time to adapt.
Another thing to try if you aren’t feeling your best is adding some extra carbs to your nighttime routine. Studies have shown that prioritising your carb intake in the hours before bedtime could help with sleep quality, which would be a huge boost leading up to a big physical test.
Finally, if there are foods that you know don’t make you feel good, cut those out, but make sure to replace those calories with higher-quality foods so you don’t put yourself in a caloric deficit.
As always, the amazing nutrition coaches at Activate are on hand for advice and guidance should you need it, just book a consultation!