If you want to become an elite athlete, you need to build the habits of elite athletes. More than talent, more than genetics, more than taking a supplement, it is the habits that athletes develop that allow them to develop themselves into the elite athletes we see competing for and winning championships at the highest levels.
Here are 10 habits elite athletes possess.
1. Eat regularly throughout the day.
Elite athletes eat every two to three hours, which comes out to roughly 5 to 8 balanced meals a day. The benefit of this is keeping energy levels up, providing themselves with the nutrients their bodies need to heal and repair itself while keeping their metabolism running optimally.
2. Eat quicker digesting carbs around their training & slow digesting carbs the rest of the time.
Slow-digesting carbs are key for athletes to steadily fuel their energy levels throughout the day without spiking insulin levels while controlling weight gain. After training, it's time to replenish energy store and get the recovery process going. Quick digesting carbohydrates benefit athletes better post-training.
3. Eat the same meals each day.
Elite athletes don't have time to figure out each day what they're going to eat and make sure they satisfy their daily nutrition needs. The easy solution for them is to eat the same meals each day, which makes meal prep easier, monitoring nutrition easier and saves them time.
4. Stay hydrated – Drink two cups of water with every meal.
Elite athletes stay hydrated throughout the day. Staying hydrated improves everything from healthy, performance, recovery, digestion as well as helping the body rid itself of waste. An easy way to help stay hydrated is to have two cups of water with every meal.
5. Track your meals – Know what you're eating.
Elite athletes know how much of each nutrient they're consuming. This ensures they hit their target nutrition values. It helps them identify areas that are working for them and which areas aren't working for them. It also keeps them focused on what they need to eat.
6. Have a workout schedule & track it.
Elite athletes know exactly what they're doing before they hit the gym and their training session. Preplanning training sessions give you direction, focus and keep you reminded to work on the areas that need to improve. It also saves you time once you're at the gym.
7. Schedule your meals ahead of time & prep your food.
Going off of number 5 on this list, prepping your food goes a long way to making sure you're hitting your nutrition goals and makes it a lot easier eat on time. It takes the guesswork and thinking out of your meals during the day. You just have to follow the schedule and eat what you need to when it's time.
8. Don't over rely on supplements.
Elite athletes don't over rely on supplements. Nothing replaces proper nutrition and training. Sure, supplements play a role in athletic programs, but they should only fill in the gaps where needed.
9. Focus on multiple aspects of your training.
Athleticism encompasses many aspects from strength, balance, quickness, explosiveness, endurance, mobility and much more. Elite athletes focus on many different aspects to create complete training programs, not just one or two aspects.
10. Get enough rest.
During rest is when the body heals itself, repairs and make the progress every athlete is after. Whether it's getting enough sleep at night, enough recovery time between training sessions or simply taking a day or few days off from training, elite athletes give themselves enough time to properly recovery so they can make better progress with their training.
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