Nutrition for Performance: 5 Key Rules for Athletes

Do you know what it means to eat healthy? You’ve probably heard a few things here and there about “what to avoid” and “what to include” in your diet to improve the way your body looks and feels. But what about nutrition for performance?

5 Key Tips: Nutrition for Performance

No doubt you’ve heard these nutrition tips before. And maybe you’ve discounted them because the celebrity tips sound more “fun.” While it can be tempting to turn to a fun “quick fix” to get the results you want, if you want lasting change, your food choices matter.

The basics.

And they take consistency, dedication.

  1. Rebuild with Protein.
    Protein is important to help us repair muscle tissue and recover properly. Include protein-dense foods in each meal AND snack. Choose foods like chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, protein powder. Keep the portion approximately the size of your palm for each meal/snack (one palm for the ladies, two palms for the men).
  2. Go Green.
    Include plenty vegetables in every meal and snack. Yup, veggies for breakfast. And make them green.
  3. Eat the Right Carbohydrates.
    Don’t be scared of carbohydrates. Your body uses carbs for energy. Include nutrient dense carbohydrates like sweet potato, oatmeal, potatoes, brown rice, fruits. Keep the portion approximately the size of your palm for each meal/snack (one palm for the ladies, two palms for the men).
  4. Don’t be Afraid of Fats.
    Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. For too long, fat has been vilified in the media. But, the truth is that dietary fat is essential to maintaining a healthy balance. Include fats such as coconut oil, nuts, olives, olive oil, flax oil, fish oil. Keep portions approximately the size of your thumb for each meal/snack (one thumb for the ladies, two thumbs for the men).
  5. Focus on Food Quality.
    Food has the power to directly impact your energy, performance, recovery, hormones, focus, etc. Food quality matters. A big problem with the “IIFYM” (If It Fits Your Macros) trend is that people are highlighting donuts and sugar-free crap next to their 6-pack. The problem is these “macro-friendly” foods are extremely low quality. Choose high-quality nutrient-dense foods 95% of the time to maximize performance.

Nutrition for CrossFit Performance

nutrition for performanceNutrition is the foundation of every healthy lifestyle. Even if you’re busting your butt at the box but not paying much attention to the type of food going on your plate, you won’t see optimal performance results.

The general CrossFit nutrition guidelines recommended by CrossFit HQ are based on whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins.

Avoiding processed foods and high-glycemic carbohydrates is key.

They emphasize the proper quantity being the level of intake where both performance and ideal body composition are supported.

Does Body Fat Impact Performance?

Alright, brace yourself. No doubt you’ve heard some backlash over a comment made by one of the top CrossFit coaches last year about placing a goal number on body fat percentage for athletes. No doubt, this caused some uproar in the community, leaving many criticizing the comment.

No one is immune to the influence of social media. The key it to recognize how these recommendations directly relate to you and your goals.

In case you missed it:

“Nutrition is the foundation of our sport, the building blocks for everything we do. And yet, you’d be surprised how many CrossFit athletes either try to out-train a bad diet or just don’t know how much nutrition matters.⠀⠀⠀
If you’re trying to be competitive at the highest levels of this sport, you have to be lean enough. Think about it this way: If you’re carrying around 5, 10 or 15 extra pounds, you are, for all intents and purposes, working out with a weight vest. You’re just not going to be as competitive.⠀⠀
If you’re a male competing in the Open division (ages 18-34), you need to be around 11 percent body fat or lower. Females should be around 16 percent or lower. If you’re not, the goal with your nutrition should not be to fuel your workouts—you gotta lose body fat. Dial in a whole-food diet, then focus on optimizing quantity with the goal of getting yourself to a competitive body composition.”

Unfortunately, much of the above message was missed due to the numbers in the last paragraph. While the last paragraph caused controversy, the first part of this message is true.

Nutrition IS the foundation of our sport.
You can’t outtrain a bad diet.

But, in regards to body fat levels and performance….it depends.

Placing a generic number on body composition without knowing the individual’s lifestyle and needs, fitness goals, where they are in their training cycle, their experience, health history, etc, will not apply to most of the people reading this post.

This is where customized nutrition coaching comes into play.

Foundation Nutrition Coaching: Nutrition for Performance

If you’re ready to maximize performance through nutrition, don’t turn to the latest celebrity trends or Instagram post suggestions, create habits that last forever.

As your Foundation Nutrition Coach, we understand the importance of eating a clean and balanced diet… and we are passionate to share that knowledge.

Whether your goal is to eat for performance, increase energy, gain muscle or lean up, we can help.

In your 3-month Nutritional Coaching program, you will:

  • Identify what your current nutritional state is and how to make changes appropriately.
  • Find out what a clean and balanced diet looks like for you to increase energy.
  • Learn how to monitor and control your nutritional intake directly for your goals.
  • Receive coaching on HOW to be successful with your nutrition choices that fit your lifestyle.
  • Receive all the support and encouragement you need to make positive, life-changing dietary changes.

As your Foundation Nutrition Coach, we will work with you to reach your goals and form new habits that last a LIFETIME! This is about real LONG TERM results. No cookie cutter programs or quick fixes here.

The 3-month nutrition coaching program is now available in monthly payments.

Let’s chat. Contact Coach Angela at to learn more


Check out some of our most recent Foundation Nutrition posts: