Nutrition – particularly sports nutrition – is a very complex field. People who are into sports usually eat well and take their vitamins; still, sometimes it seems like it is not enough. The truth is that athletes must pay attention to a lot of things in order to achieve the spectacular results they want. Most of the times, it is hard to figure out what you are doing wrong and where to begin the change. Fortunately, there has been a lot of research conducted in this field, so now we know what the most common mistakes among powerlifters are.
Diets That Will Not Work
We are all “specialists” when it comes to dieting. We gather a lot of information and we learn a lot of tips. Still, most of the popular diets seem not to give results. If you are eating carbohydrates by themselves and ignoring fruits and vegetables, you are on a wrong diet. If you eat as much carbs as you can, your body will increase its fat deposits. Carbs are initially stored in the muscle cells – after being transformed into glycogen, and then they are stored in your liver, affecting its functionality. Eating carbs alone is the main reason why you get “love handles” and you never get to be a strong athlete. This diet will make you look terrible and it will also affect your health and your physical performance, so do not even try it. Add some fruits and vegetables in your diet, because they will protect you from diseases and give you the strength you need.
Diets that are rich in calories that come especially from sugar, saturated fats and refined carbohydrates are also wrong. You need to find healthy sources of energy, because these diets will only make you fat instead of strong.
Last but not least, diets followed by famous athletes will never work for you. You cannot eat 5,000 calories per day because someone else is doing so and it seems he is successful. You cannot compare yourself with experienced lifters who have been training their bodies for decades. Find a diet that is adequate for your current fitness level, your current strength and your body’s necessities.
Mistakes that Ruin Your Diet
Skipping meals has dramatic effects on powerlifters. It lowers blood sugar levels, which affects physical performance, and it also causes the metabolism to slow down. In the end, low blood sugar levels push your body into catabolic state, causing it to break down muscle tissue and use it as an energy source. You will end up looking fat and flabby and having no real muscle tissue.
Another common mistake among powerlifters is to eat too much food at one meal. This affects digestion and leads to bloating, indigestion and acid reflux. Additionally, overeating also leads to fat storage, so do not eat too much after working out hard. Eat multiple times a day (every three hours) and plan your meals in advance. One last tip is to eat a healthy meal right before going to bed, in order to support recovery, muscle growth and keep your body in an anabolic state, so that it keeps producing muscles. The most important thing is to eat nutrients and not sugars and fats that will let you with low blood sugar levels in the morning.
Stick to these tips and keep focused. You will see results in the way you perform, as well as in the way you look.