Healthy Diet for Athletes

Our healthy diet for athletes has three purposes.

  • Meet the nutritional needs of athletes.
  • Meet the immunity needs of athletes.
  • Improve mental function and neurological healing.
  • The Three Needs of an Athlete Diet

    The nutritional needs are different depending on the type of training and desired results.

    Athletes are at increased risk of infection because of pushing their bodies to the end.

    The mental function and neurological healing, especially in the case of football players is also important. Recent findings (2009) now show that participants in the sport of football are at increased risk to get Alzheimer's.

    The basis for the healthy diet for athletes is common sense. However we have added some not so common sense that is well known in health care in the area of immune boosting.

    Healthy Diet for Athletes Fundamentals

    The fundamentals are the same as you will read in most literature on the topic.

    Protein: average to increased intake

    Water: increased intake, even when not training actively

    Carbs: special importance should be given to complex


    Fiber: increase fiber intake

    Alcohol: very low to no alcohol should be consumed

    Processed Foods: stay away from processed foods


    Staying power is an essential part of healthy diet for athletes if they participate as triathletes, marathon runners, long distance cyclists and even those who compete in multiple venues.

    There are two schools of thought on how to eat healthy for this group.

    School One: involves carbs that are slow digesting. This would include whole wheat pasta, oatmeal and certain beans. These also are loaded with fiber which helps with steady energy supply.

    Fast carb liquids are used by some athletes. These are not a good choice because of the down side.

    School Two: One doctor who I worked with swore by the all protein diet. He claimed that he could go and never hit the wall. There is a lot of controversy as to how healthy it is.

    It is argued that one group of Eskimo people who only eat meat. Note that their diets include parts of the animals that we typically do not eat. And it is more than the liver that they eat.

    There is one caveat to this diet that needs to be covered. If you choose to try an all protein diet, it would be best to purchase hormone free, chemical free meats. This means it will cost more for this particular healthy diet for athletes.

    Some of the chemicals in meats that you will buy from typical sources include MSG ( listed as a neurotoxin in peer reviewed medical journal articles) and numerous other toxic and potentially poisonous chemicals.

    It is not necessary to get organic certified meat. However you do want to get meat that is from vegetarian cows. Generally small farms will grow and butcher beef like this and you can be reasonably sure that it is safe.

    Fats or oils are essential for high protein diets. Protein molecules are large and can damage the kidneys. Studies say this is so and some say it is a myth. However, in the early 1970's, a protein powder was pulled from the market. The reason, people were dying. The solution, taking it with an oil (fat) made it safe for the kidneys. While there is no science we could find in recent years, it makes sense that meat comes naturally with fat. Thus, it must have a symbiotic effect.

    Also, if you supplement with cysteine, studies indicate that it is poorly absorbed on a heavy protein diet. Since proteins can take up to six hours to digest, it should be taken between meals. The best case may be to take it at bed time.

    Here is the problem. For some, it may inhibit sleep. Another study found that the body makes most of its glutathione while we sleep. So say your last meal is at 5PM. At 9 PM if you were to take the supplement and not go to bed for at least another hour, you may have the best of both worlds, the high protein and the immune boosting effects of cysteine. Test and see for yourself.

    The cysteine being spoken of here is not the same kind weight lifters use. To get the 13-15% increase in strength, the improved mental acuity and the immune boosting power that the studies speak about requires bonded whey protein isolate. This is a bio active whey protein. It is not cheap.

    A lesser alternative is NAC. One word of caution. One study found sever side effects when more than the recommended dose was taken. The effects were actually worse than the benefit. In asthmatics it may make mucous production worse, even though it is in asthma medicines. It should not be taken if you have a stomach ulcer.

    Other Parts of a Healthy Diet for Athletes

    Include 2 Brazil nuts. Each nut has 100 mcg of selenium. You need only 200 a day. There is a theory that in order to get the best benefit from them, only take them for three days and do not eat them for two days.

    As far as healthy diets for athletes go, this is just one way to go. What if you need a...

    Sudden Dramatic Strength

    Athletes that need a surge of strength like weight lifters, sprinters, jumpers have different needs.

    Foods rich in creatine like red meat work best. This is the best source of instant energy.

    To get the most out of the meat, medium rare is best.

    Some say carbs are OK for training days. There are two schools of thought on this. For best results, experiment and see which works best for you.

    In addition to the protein intake, consider cysteine rich foods like uncooked cabbage. Japanese coleslaw with out mayonnaise is the best. Nor only does it have the cancer fighting potential as reported in studies, the glutathione creating potential will help with you boost your immune power.

    Any coniferous vegetable should also be included in your healthy diet for athletes. These all have fiber, another one of the necessary parts of your diet.

    Include 2 Brazil nuts. Each nut has 100 mcg of selenium. You need only 200 a day. There is a theory that in order to get the best benefit from them, only take them for three days and do not eat them for two days.

    Zinc is also an essential immune boosting mineral. It is a co-factor of glutathione production. It is in red meat, chicken and seafood. If you want to supplement, consider wheat germ or pumpkin seeds, both are rich in zinc. If supplementing, get a food grade zinc.

    The exception for supplements would be if you feel you have a sore throat coming on. Zinc lozenges will knock the sore throat out, usually in one or two doses. Do not take the zinc supplements with citrus however.

    Consider taking a form of vitamin C with your red meat meals. The C helps the body absorb the iron in the meat.

    If you want to supplement the iron, an old doctor told me a trick that I have recommended and has very possibly saved hundreds of lives. When someone's blood count is below a hemoglobin level of 6 (less than half what it should be) we have found that by just giving black strap molasses and peanut butter, they notice an increased blood count.

    Originally we were giving EPO to these patients. Then when EPO got the black label, some doctors started just giving the black strap molasses and peanut butter or IV iron. Much to everyone's surprise, it worked with out the EPO to bring up the blood counts.

    Further, studies out of Europe have demonstrated that boosting glutathione with bio active whey protein likewise elevates blood counts.

    But wait, add iron to the diet and the ability of the body to product glutathione increases even more.

    Are you starting to see a balance between all of our dietary needs and optimal health and optimal performance? The healthy diet for athletes is about balance.

    There is so much more on healthy diets for athletes that will be included in the future.

    Please come back as this section will continue to grow.

    How to Boost Your Glutathione as part of the healthy diet for athletes.

    The Glutathione Boosting Diet lists the foods that will help you boost your glutathione by providing some of the necessary cysteine.

    What is Cysteine? Why does it need to be bio active? The cysteine weight lifters use is not the same kind we are writing about here.

    N Acetylcysteine The other cysteine you can use to supplement your healthy diet for athletes.

    N Acetylcysteine Side Effects Some Side Effects and Contraindications you need to know.

    Proper Nutrition for Athletes Main Page

    Athlete Nutrition Guidelines

    Glutathione Disease Cure: Healthy Diet for Athletes Resource

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    Need To Know

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