Performance nutrition should be simple. There are so many different diets and products out there now that it can be very confusing for people. I always try to break nutrition down to simple terms that people can relate to. The above diagram describes my entire performance nutrition philosophy. Eat clean, eat often, recover and hydrate. Simple, right?
I will be describing each component over the coming weeks. Today I will focus on the first component – eating clean. This doesn’t mean that you wash your food before eating it! Eating clean is all about eating fresh, natural and unprocessed foods. This is commonly referred to as eating clean. The less processed foods in a person’s diet, generally the healthier the person is.
Eating fresh unprocessed foods will provide us with the maximum vitamins and minerals from that food. Our aim should to be to try and eat clean as often as possible. The easiest way to determine if something is clean is to ask yourself two questions – did this food grow in the ground or was it alive? For example, we do not see fields full of frosties or farms full of chicken nuggets! Another general rule is, the longer the shelf life, generally the worse the food is.
Each stage of food processing removes vitamins and minerals and generally involves some chemicals in the process too. A good example is apple juice, apple sauce and a whole apple. The whole apple will provide the best nutrients of the three.
This is a simple change to make. Eat clean as much as possible and you are another step towards improving your performance nutrition,
Alan Kenny, Head nutritionist at Functional Training Ireland.