That Pro Athlete You Admire Has Terrible Eating Habits

I was reading the low carb roundtable and one of the coaches of high performance athletes jokes about his athletes eating:

With my athletes, dinner is often [postworkout], so they eat a variety of things, often from a place with a red and gold clown as nutritional advisor.

It reminded me of something that most people don’t appreciate.  Most elite athletes are struggling financially and will succeed in spite of their terrible eating and nutrition habits, not necessarily because of them.  The place you are much better getting advice and learning from is the older elite athlete.  One who has had some kind of career / success in life and has the resources to make the “right” decisions about how to train, what to eat, etc.

It’s in this older cohort of athletes, that we tend to see a much higher prevalence of VLCHF (ketogenic) or paleo diets.  The studies have been done that show that world class athletes of any age can thrive and perform well on a ketogenic diet.  Just because the 23-year old dominator of this or that sport is on a “see food” diet, does not mean that that’s necessarily the choice that will get you the best health or long term performance.

I don’t know about you, but I know that my 36-year-old self would make a much much better athlete if I could instill the discipline, dedication, and habits I’ve built over the years with the natural recovery I had at 23.

That said, I’m performing better on almost every metric than I ever have and look forward to many years of increasing health and fitness.  And even if you never get back to the fitness you had at 19, there are probably simple changes (though maybe not easy) you can make to be much fitter than you are today.

Image courtesy: Win_Photography

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