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Eating for Performance

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I am simply amazed at how many athletes don't understand the importance of proper nutrition for maximum performance. I was speaking with an 18 year old and his father earlier this week. The boy is trying to achieve an athletic scholarship for baseball. They both felt that the boy needed to increase bodyweight and lean muscle mass in order to move to the next level. The boy was quite thin and upon reviewing his diet, it was no wonder.

What do you eat for breakfast? Answer: Mostly just junk. What do you mean? Fruity Pebbles or what? Yeah..stuff like that. You eat that at about 7:00 a.m.? Yeah. Then you don't eat again until about 1:00 p.m.? Yeah. What then? Cafeteria food. Mostly junk? Yeah. Much protein? No. OK. Then you eat again about 4-5:00 p.m.? Yeah. Mom will cook steaks or hamburgers...mostly junk. Not really I said. That's the best nutrition you've had so far! At least we've got a solid protein source from mom! Do you eat again before you go to bed? Yeah....usually some chips or cookies or something.

This is probably one of the worst nutrition programs I've ever seen from an athlete. This kid is probably going to be playing college baseball too! They do deserve some credit though. The dad was discussing with me how to improve his nutrition. They had at least realized that junior wasn't following a good program.

Sports Nutrition in its most basic form isn't rocket science. You need to eat high quality protein sources at every meal. You need to eat meals every 3-4 hours while you're awake. About 5-6 per day meals per day should do it. You need to make sure you are getting enough calories from your food that will allow you to add lean muscular weight. Roughly 500 per day above maintenance levels. Make sure that you intake of vitamins and minerals is adequate to support your active lifestyle.

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