Ever feel weak at practice? Have a great morning meet session but feel like you hit rock bottom and have nothing left to give in afternoon session or evening finals?
Tired even though you had a good nights sleep? Easily irritated? Ever feel manic, or have wide swings in your mood? What you are experiencing may be directly linked to your diet. Overwhelming evidence shows a direct link between the brain and the gut. In fact 90 percent of serotonin receptors are located in the gut. Which allows for two-way communication between the gut and brain via the Vagus nerve.
This gut-brain axis offers us a greater understanding of the connection between diet and disease, including depression and anxiety. When the balance between the good and bad bacteria is disrupted, diseases may occur.
Complex carbohydrates from whole foods such as sweet potatoes, rolled oats, beans and quinoa, can increase availability of serotonin in your brain. Protein consumption has been linked to higher levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, both of which play a role in your mood, motivation and concentration.
As an athlete your body needs healthy balanced nutrition throughout the day. Eating right is as important as your in pool training and dryland. Certainly more important than that tech-suit or goggles you swore were must haves!
Eating properly can help prevent fatigue, provide hydration, raise energy levels, improve concentration, better your mood, as well as increasing strength and endurance.
For many athletes healthy, nutritionally dense foods are the missing, key element in advancing their swimming to the next level.