The 10 Simple, Subtle Nutritional Changes

1. Reduce the Saturated fats and trans-fatty acids in your diet
- these are the ‘bad’ fats which increase blood cholesterol and your risk of heart problems.
2. Increase the Monounsaturated fats in your diet
- these are the good fats that reduce blood cholesterol and provide the heart muscles with their primary fuel, linoleic acid.
3. Incorporate Extra Virgin Olive Oil into your diet on a regular basis
- this is the oil which is highest in monounsaturated fats. Also, it will not break down into trans-fatty acids at high heat so it is suitable for cooking.
4. Reduce (or eliminate) the simple refined sugars in your diet
- these are ‘empty’ carbohydrates which raise blood sugar levels rapidly, thereby giving you peaks and valleys in your insulin levels throughout the day
5. Try to choose carbohydrates that are low or medium on the Glycemic Index andhigh no glycemic index carbs before training or racing!
- low to med. carbs help balance blood sugar over the day while high glycemic carbs before training will inhibit fat burning.
6. Try to eat small meals, but eat every 5-6 hours (ie-five times per day)
- once again, this balances blood sugar levels and helps eliminate the hunger pains which are common between meals
7. Try to incorporate carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in each meal or snack
- this, too, will keep blood sugar levels stable and also promote fat burning while training and also while at rest!
8. After training and racing, consume carbohydrates and proteins to aid in muscle glycogen replenishment
- carbohydrates alone are not absorbed as well as when they eaten with proteins, therefore muscle glycogen is not replenished as easily without protein
9. Drink more water throughout the day and especially right after every workout
- dehydration decreases performance. After training, your body needs water more than it needs electrolytes, so 2-4 glasses of water before juice, Gatorade, etc.
10. **Begin taking anti-oxidant vitamins for their long-term protective benefits
- athletes are more prone to the effects of free-radical attack because they make more free radicals than non-active people. While most vitamins will not enhance performance they will speed recovery and protect your body.

The two stars (**) next to number ten are there because this change is the only one that would require any extra cost to someone who is not already taking vitamins. The other nine changes are really just modifications of an average diet. Some points, like drinking more water, are essentially free yet the benefits are readily noticeable.

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