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If Professional Athletes Perform Better With Proper Nutrition...

Wouldn’t you believe the same would apply to you? Whether you’re a weekend athlete, a dedicated CrossFiter, a casual runner, or merely interested in optimal health for yourself, take a hint from two recent news stories detailing the intersection of health and performance.

Twice in recent issues of Sports Illustrated, writers are discussing how learning to eat real food and properly supplement are making a direct, positive difference in professional athletes. Keep in mind, these are genetically superior people, they’ve risen to the top of their respective professions, yet learning about real food and nutrition is breaking news! What does this say about our need for the same thing?

In the June 9, 2014 edition, in Emily Kaplan’s piece about a nutritionist advising the United States soccer team, the subtitle “The U.S. plan to eat and drink its way to soccer glory” jumps out at me. I’m shocked this is a new initiative. Prior to Danielle LaFata being hired, these aerobic monsters were running on creamy salad dressings, Twizzlers, fruit gummies and pretzels! She’s replaced the crap with real food (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.). 

I’m happiest about LaFata’s shakes, meant to be consumed within a half hour of workouts, “a prime window to build muscle.” Each shake has 25-30 grams of protein, and double or triple that in carbohydrates. Debate the carb load all you want - downing a protein shake in that crucial immediate post-workout window is critical.

Only in the last two years has U.S. professional soccer been paying attention to nutrition. Amazing!

Sports Illustrated’s June 2 issue has a major feature on professional baseball player Troy Tulowitzki, one of the more consistent and better athletes in his sport for the last decade. At the ripe old age of 29, Tulowitzki has adopted a gluten and dairy-free, low sugar eating plan. He’s finding it paying immediate dividends relative to his endurance, energy and athleticism. 

Troy has gone so far as to hire a personal assistant to travel with him (one of the perks of being very rich) on road trips, head to the Whole Foods in that city, and buy all his meals. His green shakes are legendary in his family and the clubhouse of the Colorado Rockies, his team.

Oh, and he’s enjoying the best season of his storied career! The big change - real, healthy food. Kale shakes. 

If two of the best athletes in their respective pro sports are seeing real, positive, performance change, after learning to pay close attention to what they put into their bodies, don’t you think the same effort would enhance your health and life and sports activities?

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