It doesn't take a registered dietitian to talk about food that elite athletes should avoid at all costs. We all know the list of junk food, soda and few more forbidden foods. At least that's if you want to compete at the highest level. But what if I told you that some of your favorites may be on that forbidden list after all. To avoid you going into complete depression, I've selected 3 of the worse foods for athletes. However, to keep it interesting the 3 foods are probably at the top of your go to list! So keep your finger crossed as we start with number one.
1. Orange Juice
Yea I know! There's no way OJ can be on the list. But what if I told you that OJ in a very close battle barely beat out Coca Cola in nutritional value. In a football game winning by 7 points is a pretty good game. But what if I told you that 12 oz of OJ has 33 grams of sugar and our outlawed competitor Coca Cola has 40. So grabbing that orange juice will give you the slight advantage, but I would recommend putting both on the banned substance list. Try to replace the OJ with something like coconut water. Good taste, better for hydration, electrolytes and a lot better nutritional value
I know what you are thinking. How am I suppose to be ready for the game if I can't load up on the pasta! I need carbs Mike… Understandable. However, keep in mind that regular pasta has the same nutritional value as white bread. Oh.. they both have lots of empty calories. So you may as well pre-game with 6 slices of white bread. Or you can make an easy audible and bring the whole wheat pasta into the game and carb load, increase the nutritional value and be ready for game day.
3. Trail Mix
I'll raise my hand now. There was a time not to long ago that trail mix came with every gas station stop. It was my go-to “healthy” snack. Peanuts, almonds and a few casually spread out m&m's equalled heaven. How can a healthy snack come with a half of a bag of my favorite candy. That was the question and answer when I was in denial. Now that I'm at least 3 percent smarter here's the truth behind your trail mix. When compared to your favorite candy not only does trail mix have a high volume of sugar, but don't forget the excessive amount of calories due to the fat content. So next time you reach for the healthy snack at your neighborhood gas station lean toward the natural almonds and stick to the small bag vs the family size!
I'm sure that was a little painful, but lets look at the bright side. Knowledge is power and you are now more powerful than ever!
Make these adjustment and continue to maximize your results.