If you are trying to improve your sports performance, lose body fat or just improve your recovery from day to day forget all those fad diets you read about and things like juice diets, liver detoxing etc etc… Forget carb loading, protein shakes and creatine. There are some basic holistic nutrition practices that you can do to make a massive difference to your performance.
Start with food
Yes it’s that simple! As Michael Pollan suggests in his books – Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. Well this seems a bit simple right? But what he means is eat REAL food in its natural state, not processed sugar laden junk foods (and by this I mean any kind of processed foods from bread, pasta, pastry to sweets and biscuits). The not too much bit means just simply eat smaller portions. We eat and drink way too many calories and research is showing us that about a 30% calorie reduction actually extends life. So just eat when you’re hungry and cut out the booze and calorie dense muffins and treats. The mostly plants bit means just that, however he doesn’t mean we should all be vegetarians. We should eat healthy lean proteins high in omega 3 fats and combine them with low GL, phyto-nutrient dense, pH balancing fruits and vegetables high in fibre.
Remove food intolerances
Food intolerances are becoming a lot more recognised and accepted by the mainstream medical establishment. Testing for and removed IgG mediated food intolerances will do wonders for your health, your performance and help you lose pounds of “false fat” bloating and water retention. More simply do an elimination diet removing the most common food intolerances – wheat, dairy, yeast, soy, eggs and nuts.
Fix the gut
Once you have removed any food intolerances and allow the gut time to heal this will improve your digestion. You may need to test for any pathogens such as bacteria, parasites of fungus in the gut and do an appropriate elimination programme using antibiotics, antifungals, antiparasitic or antihelminthic where necessary. After this re-populate the bowel with healthy bacteria from yoghurt and pickled foods or take probiotics and repair the intestinal lining with glutamine.
Optimise nutrient status
From doing many blood and urine tests on athletes over the last few years I have found that we are deficient in many micronutrients. Ramping up micronutrients status such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin D, methyl donors (B vitamins) and omega 3 fatty acids can significantly improve your health, your performance and your body composition.
Once you have employed these 4 basic holistic nutrition practices you should be well on the way to a better body and better health. Only after your havw implemented these 4 principles should you consider thinking about where and when to get your carbs, what are the best protein shakes and weather creatine and BCAA are right for you.