Proper nutrition is an absolute requirement for everyone, but especially for athletes. Unless you feed your body correctly before a workout, you’ll never gain full results from that workout. There are a few key nutritional guidelines that all athletes should follow. In this article we will discuss a few tips that can help to make following those guidelines easier on you.

Try to fit as many fresh vegetables in your diet as possible. Instead of having mashed potatoes with dinner, have fresh asparagus or green beans. Fresh vegetables taste better than frozen or canned, and have more of the nutrients your body requires. They are also more filling, which means you are less likely to eat more fatty foods.

Oprah Winfrey used the phrase “clean eating” in her book Oprah’s Kitchen. It’s helpful to think of clean eating as a good way to approach food. Simple preparations, lighter salad dressings, using less oils and fats (though still a bit for flavor!), and keeping things as fresh as possible – all these ideas contribute to her way of clean eating. Oprah loved her fried chicken – and presents a clean way of cooking it in her book. The bottom line is, if you have a choice between fancy and heavy vs. simple and fresh, go with the latter and your scale will thank you, no matter what food you’re eating.

Drinking a glass of orange juice every morning is one of the best ways to start off your day. Orange juice is loaded with vitamin c, potassium, and other great nutrients. Some brands even add calcium to their orange juice. One tall glass of 100% orange juice per day is a great way to get the recommended amount of fruit in your diet.

You may be thinking that substituting sugar for some other kind of sugary substance may be a good thing. While these don’t have any direct affects to your weight, they are proven to have other damaging consequences including cancer and could possibly increase your level of hungry by not having your daily need of sugar.

Try to include more tomatoes in your meals. The biggest benefit from tomatoes is their high concentration of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that plays a role in the prevention of cancer cell formation. Research has shown that tomatoes also have potential benefits in the prevention of heart disease and lowering high cholesterol.

Many people love drinking iced tea, but try drinking green iced tea instead of “regular” iced tea. Green tea has polyphenols, which help protect against cancer, lower cholesterol and have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Black tea contains polyphenols as well, but far less than green tea. Green tea also has less caffeine than black tea.

In this article we have discussed some tips that can make it easier for athletes to maintain a nutritionally sound diet. Proper nutrition is an essential part of any fitness program and without it, you will never see the results you’re hoping for. Keep these tips in mind, and follow them daily for optimal results from your fitness routine.