Am I Getting Enough?

How do I know if I’m getting enough energy and essential nutrients from the food I’m eating?

Learn to listen to your body and trust what it’s telling you. Eat the foods that you crave. There is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food. Eat when you are hungry, and stop eating when you are full. Some people eat when they are sad or upset. That’s okay sometimes, but is not a healthy way to deal with emotions. You may not feel hungry right after a training session, but you should be ready for a meal within an hour of training. Athletes need to eat more than people who don’t play sports. You need energy to grow and to be strong. Your body knows what’s best for you- so listen to it!

Should I take vitamins or supplements?

Sometimes it is hard to make time for meals every day. There are lots of products that say they can replace meals or supplement your nutritional needs, but they are not always a good choice. For example:

  • Protein: Meats, milk products and vegetables are better sources of protein than protein powders and bars. Don’t waste your money on protein supplements – once your body has all it needs, the rest is excreted in your urine. If you eat a lot of extra protein, it can harm your kidneys.
  • Mineral supplements (like calcium, iron and zinc): You should check with your doctor before you take any mineral supplements. Too much calcium can make you constipated or damage your kidneys. It is hard for your body to absorb iron from a supplement, and too much iron can make you constipated. The best way to get iron is to eat foods that contain a lot of it (red meat, poultry, eggs, beans, green leafy vegetables, and whole grain products).

You can get all the vitamins and minerals you need by eating a variety of foods. Be adventurous and try new foods!