Train Like an Athlete: How You Should Eat as an Active Person

Athlete Food
Athlete Food

Most of us remember learning about the nutritional pyramid in school. We recall how important it is to eat a variety of foods and get in those calories. The US Department of Health recommends that an adult consume about 2,000-3,000 calories a day.

Is that amount appropriate for an athlete, though? If you train like an athlete, then you likely need to eat more, right?

You’re on the right track. Super-stars like Michael Phelps eat a whopping 12,000 calories a day! Read on to learn how you should eat if you’re an active person.

Pre-Workout Food

Your body can’t perform its best if it’s not fueled up and ready to go. That’s why you’ve got to prepare yourself by creating a healthy eating plan. This plan needs to include pre-workout food to help you perform at your best.

To create a good pre-workout meal, be sure to consider:

  • Carbs
  • Fat
  • Protein

Your muscles need carbs to exercise. Protein will help you increase your muscle’s strength, performance, and growth. Fat will also help give you fuel for longer or more intense workouts.

Not only will a pre-workout meal help you perform, but it’ll also help you recover, too. Make sure you eat about 2-3 hours before your exercise routine is set to start.

Post-Workout Meals

After a good workout, your muscles will be craving those carbs again. Eating post-workout carbs helps your muscles regrow and repair.

Just like your pre-workout meal, your post-workout meal needs to include:

  • Protein
  • Carbs
  • Fat

These work together to help your body recover. Some suggest consuming carbs and protein at a ratio of 3:1 for maximum efficiency. Performance oatmeal, like the brand sold at, is a great option.

Fuel Up For Competition Days

When competition day comes, you’ll likely feel anxious. Your stomach may feel like it’s full of butterflies, but don’t let that derail your meal plan.

Focus on eating high-performance foods that have a lot of carbs. Low-fat options are best on competition days. That’s because fatty foods take longer to digest.

You should also avoid high-fiber foods on your big day. Otherwise, you could end up having stomach discomfort or gas.

Hydrate Like a Pro

Of course, any active diet wouldn’t be complete without mentioning water intake. The average person should be drinking water daily. The average athlete should be drinking even more than that!

You need to drink water before and after your workout. Don’t get sloppy on your rest days, either. You still need to hydrate every day.

Train Like an Athlete, Fuel Up Like an Athlete

Nutritional standards are important. Your exact needs might differ from the average person, though. This is especially true if you train like an athlete.

When you’re active, your body needs more fuel. This should include pre-and post-workout meals. You’ll also want to customize your competition day meals, too. As always, don’t forget to hydrate as well.

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I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.