June 2, 2023
I’m A Sports activities Nutritionist And These Are By Far The Three Most-Widespread Points I See With My Athletes.

I’m A Sports activities Nutritionist And These Are By Far The Three Most-Widespread Points I See With My Athletes.

Query: “You’ve been seeing purchasers for a few years and you’re an achieved elite mountain athlete. What are three themes you see of us getting mistaken of their strategy to endurance diet?”


As a sports activities nutritionist who works with athletes every day, I can let you know that I’ve seen all of it. And that shouldn’t be stunning – our world is flooded with (mis)data every day. Eat this! Don’t eat that! This meals is wholesome! This meals group is unhealthy! This weight loss plan is the important thing to efficiency! Take this complement, promise it can make you run as quick as Killian!

People are confronted with making over 200 decisions about food every day, and but most of us can’t even resolve what to make for dinner tonight. Combing by way of the hefty quantity of meals data thrown in our faces on a regular basis by way of social media, the information, athletes we admire, and our friends will be overwhelming and anxious, even for a educated nutritionist. 

As a normal shopper of media and an athlete myself, I completely get it. Due to that, I’ve the utmost quantity of empathy for my athletes who come to me feeling completely misplaced about what they need to and shouldn’t eat, and what they will do to enhance their efficiency by way of diet. 

That’s why I began taking shut notes on a number of the most typical questions from my endurance athlete purchasers. Listed below are three of the commonest diet points I see: 

Concern #1: Not Consuming Sufficient

The most important problem I see is athletes not consuming sufficient.  Coaching and life are enormous stressors, and though most of my athletes have actually good intentions of consuming sufficient, they’re typically unaware simply how a lot they actually do have to eat to account for these stressors. 

There are such a lot of issues that may complicate this, akin to a change of urge for food post-run, underfueling throughout runs, or simply the sheer quantity of hours spent in your toes, which may take away from time spent consuming. It may be actually arduous to eat sufficient, so athletes have to dedicate as a lot time, effort, and a spotlight into consuming as they do to coaching, or to evaluating the precise particulars of how the Hoka Speedgoat 5 is totally different from the Speedgoat 4. 

Power undereating, whether or not purposeful or unintended, can result in a wide range of hormonal modifications that may negatively have an effect on your immune system, put you at increased danger for harm, and negatively have an effect on your efficiency. 


I’ve stated it earlier than, and I’ll say it till the day I die – an actual meals weight loss plan stuffed with vitamins and moderation, and one which brings us each bodily and emotional satisfaction, is the key to efficiency. 


I at all times inform my athletes that, when unsure, eat extra! It’s uncommon that an athlete will eat an excessive amount of, even when they actually attempt. Double up your servings, add additional snacks, eat extra meals earlier than, throughout, and after runs, at all times eat dessert, and maintain enjoyable meals round the home – this stuff can assist an athlete attain their each day calorie consumption. 

Personally, I’m an enormous fan of including avocado to something and every thing I can – tacos, toast, crackers, rice bowls, even smoothies. There’s not a neater and extra scrumptious solution to enhance energy, micronutrients, and wholesome fat. Or my private favourite:  “pint of ice cream an evening” custom, which is by far probably the most enjoyable and attractive solution to get an additional 1,000 energy!

Concern #2: Believing in a Silver Bullet. 

Identical to you can’t outrun a foul weight loss plan, you can’t take a bunch of dietary supplements to override poor meals decisions. I’ve seen athletes with a complement record longer than my weekly grocery record. 

Whereas it would appear to be the simple route, it is not going to at all times substitute the advantages that come from consuming actual, nutrient-dense meals. Whereas there are some exceptions for athletes on restrictive diets, and people with well being points, it may be potential for an individual to get all the vitamins they want from a balanced, nutrient-rich weight loss plan. For instance, vegans may enhance their dietary iron consumption by making chili, which mixes iron-rich beans with tomatoes. The vitamin C present in tomatoes can enhance iron absorption in these non-heme, iron-rich meals sources.

RELATED: A Diet Therapist and Skilled Runner Discusses Hyperlink Between Meals, Temper, and Operating

Dietary supplements like fancy inexperienced powders, mega doses of multivitamins, and meal substitute powders are enticing resulting from their ease, however they’re typically only a short-term answer with brief time period advantages. Nutrient-dense, actual meals will probably be significantly better absorbed and tolerated since actual meals comprise an array of issues like nutritional vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. These work synergistically to offer your physique with what it must operate properly and effectively. 

Extra isn’t at all times higher, both.  After we take sure forms of dietary supplements, we run into the chance of toxicity, particularly when it comes to fat-soluble nutritional vitamins (A, D, E, and Okay) and iron. This could hurt inner organs and result in extreme, long-term injury. 

If we take excessive ranges of water-soluble nutritional vitamins (B nutritional vitamins and vitamin C), we’re actually simply making some actually costly urine, as we pee out every thing that our physique doesn’t want. Both approach, we’re in all probability simply throwing cash down the bathroom (actually) or setting ourselves up for potential future well being issues. We’re a lot much less prone to attain these poisonous ranges once we are capable of devour these vitamins by way of meals, and your physique will make the most of them so much higher.

I’m A Sports activities Nutritionist And These Are By Far The Three Most-Widespread Points I See With My Athletes.
(Picture: Hermes Rivera)

Concern #3: Following a Particular Weight loss program in Hopes to Obtain Higher Efficiency.

You identify it, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen athletes observe restrictive diets like keto, paleo, and gluten-free, even diets as outrageous because the grapefruit-and-bacon weight loss plan, in hopes that this “magical” weight loss plan will simply assist them obtain their 50K PR with the snap of their fingers. 

Most frequently, an athlete has been influenced by a professional athlete following that very same sort of weight loss plan, or possibly somebody of their run group has discovered success whereas following one among them. And whereas I’m positive that there are some people on the market who’ve discovered success following a particular, restrictive weight loss plan, it’s in no way the key to unlocking your potential or bettering your efficiency. 

RELATED: 5 Operating Diet Myths To Bust Proper Now

Meals performs many roles for us – bodily, emotional, social – and its function on our bodily and psychological well being is multifaceted. If we prohibit meals (and due to this fact happiness!) with the hope of accelerating our efficiency, our efficiency will undoubtedly undergo in the long run. If psychological stress impacts our physique the identical approach bodily stress does on the mobile stage, then stress associated to restriction and weight-reduction plan will negatively contribute to our total well being, affecting our efficiency and longevity within the sport. 

I’ve stated it earlier than, and I’ll say it till the day I die – an actual meals weight loss plan stuffed with vitamins and moderation, and one which brings us each bodily and emotional satisfaction, is the key to efficiency. 


Alex Borsuk Hasenohr, M.S., is sports activities nutritionist {and professional} path runner for Dynafit. She is obsessed with serving to athletes attain their full potential by way of using sensible diet, and she or he can be contacted through her website.

I’m A Sports Nutritionist And These Are By Far The Three Most-Common Issues I See With My Athletes.