Is There a One-Size Fits All Diet for Athletes?
For those of you “get to the point” people, the answer to the title is no. But, that is not the real point of this blog. Read on, it will be worth your time, I promise.
Dietary advice for athletes is everywhere. Bananas make you fat, avocados make you fast, asparagus is high in performance enhancing vitamins, Scottish Highland cattle have the perfect fat to protein ratio, and on and on. (Disclaimer: the preceding sentence is nonsense, do not take any of those claims seriously.) Then there are supplements. One could easily spend their monthly income on supplements if they took the many “performance enhancing” supplements advertised in the sports world.
So, what works and what doesn’t? This is one of the most common questions we get from athletes.
After 9 years of research we’ve found an answer to this million-dollar question. The answer is “all of it, none of it, and some of it”. There you go, thousands of hours went into finding this answer and we just shared it for free.
Let me explain.
We at Phuel Sports Science, the research entity offering AthleteBloodTest.com, have been researching physiological responses to training and micronutrient needs in athletes since 2008. A clear conclusion we’ve come to is that every athlete has unique dietary and supplemental needs for optimizing performance.
We’ve examined our research in an attempt to identify trends based on gender and weight, level of performance, training plans, and everything in-between. Although we have identified some trends, ultimately the conclusion has not changed. Every athlete has unique dietary and supplemental needs for optimizing performance.
Identifying these needs is critical to optimizing performance. Whether optimal performance is getting faster or stronger, or simply enjoying the experience of training and competing more, knowing your unique needs is essential to achieving your goals.
In the research world, physiological needs and responses are often over-generalizing. For example, there have been many studies looking at whether a multivitamin can help performance. The research involves giving the experimental group a multivitamin and the control group a placebo (fake multivitamin in this case). The participants then run on treadmills or maybe stationary bikes regularly over a period of time. Conclusions of the studies cover the entire spectrum, concluding that multivitamins are detrimental to performance, improve performance, and everything between. Then an article is written in a magazine titled “Multivitamins Are Hurting Your Performance”.
Our research clearly indicates that we cannot generalize the physiological needs or response in athletes. This explains why studies such as multivitamin studies have conflicting conclusions, and why most unbiased supplement studies in athletes have conflicting results.
Our research has created an explanation for the many studies on supplements unable to come to a clear conclusion. For example, just some of the factors that influence dietary and supplement needs include:
- environment (geographical location, work environment, home environment);
- gastrointestinal health;
- frequency, duration, and intensity of training/competition;
- dietary habits;
Yes, it’s complex. So, how do you find the ideal diet for you? There are two important steps to finding the right diet.
- Get a blood test through AthleteBloodTest.com. Testing is the only way to identify micronutrient needs unique to you.
- Hire help or do your research. Hiring the help of a dietitian will save you a lot of time and trial and error. A dietitian that specializes in working with athletes will be able to take the information provided through an Athlete Blood Test and tailor a dietary plan specific to your needs. It is well worth the money and the information remains pertinent for years.
There is only one way to truly identify how to optimize your diet, training, recovery, race preparation. That is through a blood test that tailors its recommendations to you as a unique individual. Visit AthleteBloodTest.com and order your test today.