When perusing a variety of media sources looking for new developments or different topics on sports, it is not that often I come across positive ways to improve an athlete's abilities. The current state of affairs in sports regarding performance enhancement has most commentaries discussing the illegal use of steroids, HGH, and other PED's, and rightfully so.
However, along comes an article from The Arizona Republic (Phoenix Arizona, azcentral.com) titled New breed of athletes seeking edge through food, not drugs, that gives a different, healthier, and more ethical twist to enhancing an athlete's performance. In this piece, respected sports dietician Dave Ellis gives three important facts about how proper nutrition positively impacts athletes and, thus, how hard they can train and how well they compete. According to Mr. Ellis "there are three big benefits" in a well-balanced diet high in nutrition:
"...less down time"--athletes who prioritize eating healthy simply miss less practice and because of this are able to gain more from their training.
"Energy"--the nutritionally sound athlete has more energy, which also makes for a better, more coachable attitude.
"Recovery"--likely due to providing all that the body needs for repair through a healthy diet high in nutrition.
The article goes on to detail how a focus on good nutrition has positively impacted Phoenix Suns basketball star Grant Hill, along with others on his team, in addition to a "grass-roots" level of interest by our younger generation. According to the piece, "athletes are always looking for an edge"; an edge, inferred by the article, that can be gained through sound nutritional eating habits.
For me, it is certainly nice to see some focus on a sound idea for performance-enhancement. One that not only benefits athletes but could exponentially influence a good number of others simply by the example these athletes set.
Man, we certainly could use that!!!