At Home Clinics of America, we know that as an elite athlete, your health is a top priority. Everything from what you choose to eat for dinner to whether your hormones are balanced can either help or hurt your body, which in turn will affect your performance. There are some health factors that can make or break your status as an elite athlete. Achieving optimal health, hormone balance, and wellness will help you maintain a healthy metabolism and maintain your peak athletic health.
Maintaining Elite Athlete Status
Skill and talent go a long way in helping you maintain your elite athletic health, but so too does your physical health. If you have the skill and the talent but aren’t functioning at peak physical wellness, you won’t maintain your status as an elite athlete for long. Your health and wellbeing are critical in helping you maintain peak and elite athletic health, and there are some steps you can take that will help you take your skill and talent to the next level.
Focusing on Optimal Nutrition
As an athlete, you are probably well aware of just how important optimal nutrition is to your performance. What you eat can either help or hinder your performance as an athlete, which should give you the extra motivation you need to use discipline in choosing the foods that will help promote peak athletic health, not sabotage it. Optimal nutrition for the average health enthusiast and the athlete both focus on health, but the macronutrients will look very different.
Eating the right amount of lean proteins and healthy, complex carbs based on your goals and body composition is an essential part of ensuring that you are getting optimal nutrition, as well as limiting sugar and alcohol consumption and monitoring your sodium levels. A consultation with a nutritional expert can help you learn how to eat for optimal nutrition to maintain peak and elite athletic health. The right food choices will give you the fuel you need to feel energized and motivated.
Reducing Oxidative Stress
As an athlete, you are more prone to increased amounts of oxidative stress due to regular acute and intense physical exercise. There are different ways to reduce oxidative stress, and increasing your antioxidant levels is one of them. You can increase your antioxidant levels through nutrition changes. Adding specific foods to your diet, like kale, raspberries, dark chocolate, goji berries, and strawberries, among others, will help your body fight oxidative stress.
Supplements can also help reduce oxidative stress. COQ10 is one of the most popular supplements designed to help fight oxidative stress and deliver powerful antioxidants to the body. It helps fight free radicals and gives your cells the energy they need so you can function optimally both in a competitive setting and in everyday life.
Maintaining Hormone Balance
Hormone deficiencies can negatively impact your performance as an athlete. The symptoms of hormone imbalance are far-reaching. Not only do they affect how you feel physically, but they can impact your performance. Hormone imbalances can cause symptoms that will affect your elite athletic status, like impaired cognitive function, fatigue, weight gain, and the inability to maintain lean muscle mass, among others.
Imbalanced hormones can also take away your motivation, drive, and competitive edge, which can be catastrophic to your role as an elite athlete. Hormone replacement therapy is a safe and effective way to balance your hormones so that you can perform optimally and feel your best, both in and out of a competitive setting. Treatments for hormone balance comes in different forms, allowing you to choose the best delivery method that will support your lifestyle.
If you have some of the symptoms of a hormone imbalance, even minor ones, seeking out treatment to balance those hormones can make a difference in how well you perform and your health as an athlete. During treatment, you will undergo a standard blood test to obtain your hormone levels. Then, a treatment plan will be created based on your needs, including a prescription of bioidentical hormones to help your body get hormone balance.
Hormone balance is important not only to your physical health but to your mental and emotional health. Choosing to seek treatment to maintain hormone balance will help you physically, mentally, and emotionally so that you can be at the top of your game in every realm of your life. Once you begin treatment, you will experience a difference in your symptoms within a few weeks, and you’ll feel your best within a few months.
Focusing on Anti-Inflammation
Foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats can help you stay as healthy as possible and promote anti-inflammation techniques to help you stay healthy and injury-free. A diet and supplementation routine that focuses on anti-inflammation foods and vitamins will help your body fight against inflammation. Inflammation can affect more than just your joints; internal inflammation leads to chronic stress and reduced immune system functioning.
How to Reduce Internal Inflammation
When you eat anti-inflammation foods, you take the necessary steps to prevent your body from chronic stress. Every athlete knows how inflammation looks and feels concerning an injury, but what about internal inflammation? The body responds to stress with internal inflammation, which is exacerbated by other diet and lifestyle factors, including excess dietary sugar or alcohol consumption, free radicals, and lack of quality sleep. You should limit inflammatory foods, including:
- Processed meats
- Foods high in sugars
- Foods containing chemicals
- Low-quality meats with added hormones
- Vegetable oils
- Dairy products
- Simple carbohydrates (white rice, white bread, etc.)
While optimal nutrition and a diet plan that promotes anti-inflammation can help your body achieve and maintain balance, other lifestyle factors are just as important. Stress can affect your sleep, as can too much blue light before bed. Lack of quality sleep prevents you from performing well and will only feed the stress cycle. Reducing your stress levels, investing in self-care activities, and avoiding excessive screen time can also promote anti-inflammation.
Taking the Next Step
If your health hasn’t been your top priority and you’re coasting off of your talent and skill, know that a few simple changes in your diet and lifestyle can take you to the next level. By balancing your hormones, eating the best diet for your body composition, and avoiding inflammation, you’ll improve your athletic performance and stay at the top of your game so that you can be the best day in and day out.