You’ve pushed your body hard: made it faster, stronger and healthier overall. But what happens when you reached that infuriating plateau? What do you do when you go to the gym, work hard and stop getting the results you want? You ask yourself, “Where did I go wrong?” Did you find the answer? If not, here it is: it’s your diet.

It all comes down to the food you eat. How well your body performs depends on the nutrition you give it. If you’re looking for an elite-level body, give it everything it needs you in terms of nutrition. It’s the quality of the quality of foods you eat that matters now.

Sure, you can go to the gym five days a week and eat garbage meals and still look slim and fit. But, this regimen won’t last. Poor food choices weigh your body down and create more work for you. This is as true for athletic performance as it is for anyone in a health crisis.

Knowing that good food is important is the easy part → making healthy food your new lifestyle is the hard part. But if you want results good-for-you food is the only way!

Here are some simple ways to reform and reshape your body using solid nutrition so you can remodel yourself into someone you can be proud of.

Just as an artist carefully selects paints, brushes, and paper to create a masterpiece, each type of food you eat (fats, carbs and proteins) create a different ‘effect’. Quality nutrition for athletic and sports enthusiasts involves more than protein; vitamins, minerals, and glycogen (carbohydrates) are also used for everyday health for the average person. The demand for these elements is just that much greater as you sculpt your body into the elite masterpiece you want it to be.

One area significantly overlooked by many in the fitness and athletic world is minerals. Most people are so concerned about carbohydrates and protein that they forget everything else. Minerals are crucial. Minerals control hormones, enzyme production and overall pH/alkalinity. If you’re wondering why hormones are important in attaining elite physical bodies, hormones make proteins that trigger the production of red blood cells and glucose (carbohydrates) are also used for everyday health for the average person. The demand for these elements is just that much greater as you sculpt your body into the elite masterpiece you want it to be. of red blood cells and glucose metabolism. *EPO, one of the most commonly banned performance-enhancing substances is a hormone that specifically increases your body’s output of red blood cells (giving higher oxygen carrying capacity).

Minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium are familiar names because they’re the minerals most commonly inside our bodies.

Minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium are familiar names because they’re the minerals most commonly inside our bodies. With these four, you control water retention, muscle contraction/reaction, hemoglobin & myoglobin production. All of these are vital for overall health, but they’re especially important for those of you seeking enhanced performance. One of the best ways to get minerals (other than supplementation) is through good-quality fresh vegetables and greens. As an extra bonus, these minerals are all alkaline. These foods and minerals keep your body from becoming too acidic.

Myoglobin is what delivers the oxygen directly into the muscles, the same way hemoglobin delivers oxygen via the blood.

 Most athletes have never considered their bodies’ pH levels or overall body chemistry. (Few non-athletes or health conscious folks think about this either). When your body is more acidic, it functions at less-than-optimal levels. Whenever you work out and stress your body, your acidity level naturally rises, making it even more essential that you combat the elevated levels with high-alkaline and mineral-rich foods. As a bonus, alkaline-forming foods help reduce inflammation. Every athlete and sports fan knows that inflammation is the hardest to overcome with physical performance. It’s inflammation that causes your ‘after workout pains’. Your stiffness and soreness comes from the swelling and over-exertion of your muscles. It’s important and necessary to build new muscles, but too much can cause discomfort and trauma.

One key vitamin that virtually everyone should embrace is Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant and it’s fantastic when working within. What really gets your body moving and your muscles fired up their energy is glycogen. Glycogen is the stored reserves your body uses to power your muscles. Glycogen comes from the conversion of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates convert into pure fuel for your body, making them extremely important for athletes. Glycogen is what burns before protein. To function at peak levels, your muscles must burn efficiently. The best way is through fat or glycogen. It’s the rebuilding and training of your body to produce and store additional glycogen that will let your body go harder, for longer with less fatigue as long as there are sufficient amounts of glycogen in your diet. The higher the amount of ‘pre-race’ glycogen you store, the longer you’ll be able to maintain your high-intensity work and delay fatigue.

Remember: the harder you can push your muscles the better. So don’t worry about eating all the fresh fruit you can handle as long as you’re challenging your muscles regularly! The connective tissues of your joints and muscles, which is especially important for those of you who rely on your bodies professionally (lumberjacks, firemen, SWAT teams, athletes, and the like). Regular vitamin C has been shown to improve all these areas, with the added bonus of boosting your immune system. The immune response is fabulous after an event. The training and rigorous demands you put your body through before, during and after exercise create a drain your body; mental and emotional stress can weigh your body down, too. Glycogen is vital for overall muscle health. Glycogen is your body’s’ ‘fuel’ of choice. When you run low on glycogen fatigue will start to set in; when your fuel stores are dried up, if you continue to push your muscles to exhaustion, this as the point at which your protein levels come into play.

Glycogen is what fuels your muscles.

Protein is probably one the biggest concerns for anyone wanting to have a healthy, active lifestyle

The number one question for fitness fanatics is how much protein per serving, and what type of protein. Those more familiar might also ask about the source and quality of protein and products at all stages of production. People who lead active lifestyles require significantly more protein. Protein and its component amino acids are the building blocks for everything in your body: your muscles, heart, enzymes, hormones, even nerve connectors. All are managed, produced, used or created with amino acids. When you put physical stress on your body regularly you have to replenish it—daily!

Protein and amino acids are the main concern for anyone seeking increased muscle mass. Simply put, you can’t build a muscle if there’s no protein to sustain it.
Contrary to popular belief the sources of your protein do not have to be limited to animal sources. But those who choose to forego animal products will have to compensate in other ways when it comes to their diets. This is true for anyone: meat-eaters, dairy, vegan, non-vegan, raw, Paleo. With any diet you choose if your goal is to increase your athleticism and performance, carefully plan your meals, diet and eating habits. Improved physical dominance is determined by your overall health. It all hinges on what you put into your mouth to fuel your body.
Although anyone can start a sport, true dedication takes hard work and perseverance. The same holds true for nutrition. If you want optimal results, you have to pair your fitness regime with the optimal nutrition and diet. Tackling just one aspect of your wellness regimen is a disservice to the other. If you’re curious, try it for 30 or 60 days.
You’ll notice the difference: you’ll be lighter and stronger, you’ll recover faster, and you’ll get over that pernicious plateau. So go ahead: find a mountain and climb it. You’ll be amazed at just how awesome your body can be when you give it the tools it needs to become truly extraordinary!