Do you take your time when you shop for food? Do you look at food labels? You should. As we all know, proper nutrition is a key part of the sports performance training plan. Yes, we all know if we go to buy a frozen pizza that it’s probably going to be bad for us. But what about all of the other things we buy? Do you pay attention to those? Some of those might not be as good for you as you think. I know, when we go to the grocery store we’re usually in a hurry. We don’t want to spend any longer than we have to in there, especially if the place is packed with other people. That isn’t my favorite time to be there either. Unfortunately, to be a smart shopper, you need to find a way to spend some time there.
Why is it worth your time? Because you want to be the best. You can never be sure what might be holding you back (or pushing your competition further ahead). Nutrition can very well be the difference maker.
If you are going to improve your nutrition, it starts with some basic steps:
- Knowing what you are taking into your body right now
- Knowing what your nutritional needs really are
- Deciding what adjustments that you need to make
- Making wise nutritional choices so that you can make the adjustments
Since I’m not a trained nutritionist, I’ll limit the advice that I try to give in that area. The one thing that I can say is that you should look at food labels carefully. There are so many items that are available for us to eat. However, so many of them are flat out bad for us. As a general rule, you should know why you are eating everything that you put in your mouth (no, “Because I’m hungry” isn’t a good answer). You should never buy something if you don’t check the nutritional info first. Take a little time and look at the info on calories, fat, etc. Compare this info to that on similar products. You might find some surprises. As you can imagine, not all products are created equal.
Nutrition plays a huge role in our athletic success. While looking at the labels closely may not be the most fun thing to do, it can lead to some enlightening discoveries. You might find out that you weren’t doing as well in the nutrition department as you thought. Because of this, the extra time that you spend on your trip to the grocery store may pay huge dividends.