Proper nutrition is an absolute requirement for everyone, but especially for athletes. Unless you feed your body correctly before a workout, you’ll never gain full results from that workout. There are a few key nutritional guidelines that all athletes should follow. In this article we will discuss a few tips that can help to make following those guidelines easier on you.

Watch your cholesterol intake. Cholesterol affects your metabolic rate which affects how fast or slow your body breaks down food. Having too high cholesterol can cause heart disease, heart attacks or even strokes. Aside from making sure you have a healthy diet with low cholesterol, make sure you see a physician if you are concerned with your levels.

When traveling, keeping some healthy snacks, such as protein bars, packed in your bag is a great idea. Finding regular, nutritious meals at airports is nearly impossible. With added security there is usually little time to eat, and flights no longer serve food. See to it that you always have these bars ready until you have the chance to eat a regular meal.

Eating well and taking supplemental vitamins are keys to maintaining one’s health. For one to appreciate what “eating well” means, they must understand that having a well-balanced diet is very simple, but also very important for one’s physical and mental well-being. The human body requires the proper mix of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, in order to function. Food is fuel for any animal and having a good understanding of what is good for one’s body is important. Lean meats, fruits and vegetables and grains are all important and all of these need to be items in one’s daily diet.

We should consider carefully the meats and poultry we eat. Most are still laden with antibiotics and hormones, nitrites and nitrates–all detrimental to our health. Fortunately, in recent years, meats raised without these chemicals have become far more widely available to the general public. We can find them now at major supermarkets.

If you’re an athlete and need to keep your body in peak condition, it’s crucial to eat a healthy, nutritious diet. Never exercise on an empty stomach. Eat a carbohydrate-rich and easily digestible meal about an hour before you work out. Fruit, whole-wheat bread and oatmeal, all make great fuel for a workout.

Making spaghetti sauce for your family is easy and with a few extra ingredients it can be more nutritious. The next time you make spaghetti sauce, try adding minced carrots or stirring in pureed baby-food carrots. These ingredients will enhance the flavor. Your family will never notice the extra veggies, but will benefit from the extra nutrition.

Nutritionists agree that when it comes to lowering cholesterol levels with protein, 25 milligrams per day is the magic number. Vegetarians (or anyone else, for that matter) can easily meet this requirement by consuming soy foods like edamame (green soybeans that have been steamed and lightly salted), tofu, and roasted soy nuts.

Using cream in recipes may make your food taste really good and rich, but it will also make your waistline expand. Try substituting the cream with silken tofu. It still has the creamy texture, but it offers other benefits such as some extra protein into your favorite home-cooked meals.

A great nutrition tip is to be more aware of how much food you’re eating. If you eat your meals off of a large plate you’re probably consuming more calories than you should. An easy way to reduce your portion sizes is by serving your food on smaller dishes.

Don’t do away with all of your unhealthy pleasures. If you must have an unhealthy item, only have one a day. You can also try using smaller sizes of your sweets, such as a fun sized candy bar or a small cookie. If you would rather not have an unhealthy item one time a day, limit yourself to once a week if you make your weight loss goal. This can be a great motivator.

Make an old fashioned comfort food a little more healthy. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches are quick and easy. Opt for a whole grain bread, preferably one with nuts and seeds in it. Make sure that your peanut butter is of the natural sort without added oils or sugar. Lastly Get real fruit spreads, not jellies. These changes will make your lunchtime favorite an adult variety.

Breast feed after having a baby. Your body will burn an additional 500 to 800 calories each day to produce milk. These added calories can get you back to your pre-pregnancy weight much faster. Make sure to eat a healthy balanced diet though, as you will still need a greater calorie intake until you stop breastfeeding.

When you are out traveling the globe, take some time to sample the local food. If you are frightened by the prospect of eating something that you could find disgusting to your palate, stick to mainstream fare. You should be able to easily avoid the mystery meals, when you do this.

Even if your nutrition during pregnancy is nearly perfect, taking a prenatal vitamin supplement can make sure that you are getting the right amount of some very critical nutrients. Even if you think you’re getting what you need, almost all women can benefit from the folic acid and iron found in all prenatal supplements.

Try to increase your levels of protein and decrease the amount of carbohydrates you intake. Protein can be really beneficial to increasing muscle mass, something which will also help you to lose weight. Don’t avoid carbohydrates completely but eat them in moderation and be sure to eat more complex ones like fruit and grains.

In this article we have discussed some tips that can make it easier for athletes to maintain a nutritionally sound diet. Proper nutrition is an essential part of any fitness program and without it, you will never see the results you’re hoping for. Keep these tips in mind, and follow them daily for optimal results from your fitness routine.