(KWWL) - Athletes in Tokyo are capable of performing incredible skills, from sprinting 100 meters in record time to doing four flips off a 36-foot platform. However, what keeps these athletes performing at an elite level?
Local health coaches explain recovery through nutrition is one of the most important elements athletes stay on top of because it helps them become stronger and recover for another day of competition.
Typically seen as strict diets, the key to good nutrition for athletes and people, in general, is knowing what's the best thing for your body.
Health coaches at Profile by Sandford in Cedar Falls said some people might be able to process carbohydrates better, and for others, it might be the opposite. Regardless, what is the most noticeable in elite athletes is they know what foods they like to consume, and they keep it routine to perform at the best of their abilities.
Not only does nutrition keep athletes' energy levels up, but health coach Ashton DeMoss said good nutrition also prevents injuries.
"We wanna make sure that we are replenishing our muscles after a workout with appropriate amounts of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins," DeMoss said, "so that our muscles aren't depleted after that exercise or activity or performance, whatever we did, so that way we are able to grow and prevent injury."
Knowing that people are familiar with crazy diets from athletes, like Michael Phelps, health coach Lori Beckman wants people to know every athlete and sport has different needs when it comes to fueling, strengthening, and recovering.
"The average person is not working out six hours a day, they're probably working out one, so that high of an activity level is going to call for more calories to fuel that metabolism and fuel those muscles to function," Beckman said, "track athletes are definitely going to need the endurance so that is where the carbs come in, protein you're probably looking at some lifting type sports."
Both athletes and people, in general, are recommended to eat 30 minutes before a workout and replenish with at least 20 grams of protein after.