Sports Nutrition… the Secret to Athletic Excellence
I’m excited to share this post written for my blog by Dr. Tim Kennedy, DC. Dr. Kennedy practices in Stuart, FL. He specializes in working with athletes, particularly crossfit athletes. Given his involvement in sports he has a unique perspective on the value of sports nutrition. I hope you enjoy his article written exclusively for this blog.
Get your notepads ready because I’m about to share a breakthrough with you. For those of you athletes or lay people, all-stars or bench warmers, professionals to gym rats; whatever your status, paying attention here will take your game to the next level, guaranteed.
Ask nearly any professional what their biggest, non-skill related, key to success is and they will likely tell you nutrition. You see, sports nutrition is the link between training, hard work and getting those desired results out of your body. It is the proverbial ”where the rubber meets the road” for many a reason.
Regardless of the sport, after a long torturous training session how do we ensure we “lock in” the gains? Be they the vitamins and minerals to aid in repairing the nervous system or the glycogen required to maintain a positive nitrogen balance and spare muscle from catabolism, the key to it all is your nutrition.
The weird thing is we’ve all heard this song, probably a couple hundred times before:
“whole grains and vegetables…something something…lean proteins and complex carbs…”
Yes, that one! You’ve heard it ad nauseam buuuuuuuut, you haven’t really ever implemented it. You’re still in that phase of thinking “if I train hard enough and do what coach says, well, I’ll get better”. While that may be right to an extent, I promise you that you’ll never unlock your potential until you nail down your nutrition.
Look at sports nutrition like the limiting factor in your training regimen. Without it, you may be ready and putting in the work to become bigger, faster or stronger, but you’ll never get there because it’s what you’re not giving your body that’s holding you back. Really stop and think about that for a second. Your body is trying to get you to the next level. It doesn’t like waking up sore every morning and training through nagging injuries, it doesn’t like sucking wind after a big push, but without the raw materials to build the next level, it’s stuck just making repairs to what you already have.
As if that weren’t enough, consider this: what more could you do with a few metrics of improvement? Let’s say you could instantly bench another 50 lbs, jump another 6”, knock .5 seconds off your 40, whatever the measures of importance are to you, close your eyes, give yourself that ability and tell me how much that changes your ENTIRE game.
The results are usually profound, but you’ll never know what you’re actually capable of until you cross off questionable nutrition from the list of variables.
Now, I realize it’s not easy, I could write a sports nutrition book that outlined protocols for individual sports and body types and genetic variants and still not cover all of the meal plans to address every athlete. That’s what professionals are for. Sit down with your sports chiropractor, discuss your goals, review your current regimen and go from there. Given personalized guidance from a professional you’ll be sure to net professional results that’ll take you much farther than “bro science”. In a few weeks you’ll look back at the progress you’ve made with less effort than ever before and wonder why you put nutrition off for as long as you did.
I don’t care what your sport is, if you get a professional involved to advise you on sports nutrition, you will get better. Far too often I see athletes, filled with potential, slaving away at their sport of choice, developing better skills but essentially going nowhere because of the choices they make outside of training. At the end of the day, you can put Jeff Gordon in a Toyota Prius and make him race 20 hours a day but it won’t make a drop of a difference until you get him into a better car. Good sports nutrition is your key to a better car. I challenge you to make this the last time you heard the nutrition song without knowing first hand how much it changed the game for you.
Eat better, play better, live better, win.
Dr. Tim Kennedy is the owner/operator of Live Young Chiropractic in Stuart, Florida. He is a lifelong athlete who’s passion for athleticism has spanned dozens of sports and ultimately led him to the calling of serving others as a chiropractor. As an evidence based practitioner he brings cutting edge research out of the labs and to his athletes on a daily basis. He is available in office or via email or skype for consultations. Contact him via www.LiveYoungChiropractic.com