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Meal planning is an important part of being an athlete. Your body must be a well-fed machine to utilise fuel efficiency for strenuous activities. An athlete that lacks any type of nutrient in their diet will not be able to perform optimally. Therefore, here are several very important meal planning tips athletes should follow:

Don’t Load Up Just on Proteins

Athletes are highly likely to include loads of proteins in their diet, almost at the expense of other foods. While proteins are important, that’s not the only nutrient you would need. All athletes are encouraged to consume a diet rich in proteins, carbs, as well as vitamins and minerals. The amount you need in each nutrient group will depend on your individual condition as well as the type of sport you do.

In any case, when you make up a meal plan, it’s important to ensure that you have included plenty of veggies in addition to all the meat, eggs, and nuts. Your meals should ideally be colourful, indicating that you are consuming vitamin-rich food your body needs.

Get Professional Tips

Don’t plan the meals all by yourself. It’s best to plan with the help of professional sports dietitians Sunshine Coast. You can seek advice or help from a medical professional if you suffer from allergies or a condition that restricts the type of food you need.

The advantage of hiring a professional is that you can get sound advised backed by scientific and medical evidence. Otherwise, you could just end up following a fad diet that does more harm than good.

Introduce Snacks, but Avoid Junk Food

Yes, your meal plan can have snacks, and should. However, take care to snack on healthy foods and to avoid junk food. The latter would introduce unwanted fats and excess sugar to your diet. This would hinder the performance of athletes. But you can try healthy snacks, like nibbling on nuts and berries when you feel hungry between meals. Avoid soft drinks as well, because these may include high levels of sugar. Soft drinks may also throw off the electrolyte balance in your body as well.

Time Your Meals Properly

One of the most overlook parts of an athletic sports diet is not timing meals the right away. You may plan several meals plus snacks per day. But don’t eat these whenever you feel like it. There should be an eating rhythm. This helps your body from going hungry at times and also storing excess calories when you eat meals too close together. Timing is everything when it comes to sports diets.

Do Leave Room for Comfort Food

Obviously, no one can survive on a diet only eating bland foods just because it’s healthy. You can certainly allow yourself some comfort food. The trick is to not indulge in it too much. Also, try to make your comfort foods as healthy as possible. Don’t eat fast food items several times per week. Ideally, these should be kept at once or twice a month.

Overall, keep your athlete diet as simple as possible. Include meals you can prepare easily with ingredients you can buy from stores nearby. If it’s complicated, it may not work as you like.

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