Eating the right foods is important no matter who you are, but if you are an athlete, your overall performance is going to ultimately come down to what you put in your mouth. Getting nutrients through eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is key, but there is also a great deal of foods to avoid.
Processed foods should be avoided as much as possible, as well as high fructose corn syrup. Almost no processed food is good for you and high fructose corn syrup is terrible for athletes that want to perform at a high level. Another thing that should be avoided if possible is cereal. A lot of people think that getting a bowl of cereal in the morning is a good start to the day, but there are few things that are going to make an athlete as sluggish during the day than a sugary and carb filled breakfast.
While most people love to head to their favorite fast food joints, athletes should avoid eating fast food as much as they possibly can. Perhaps the biggest thing to avoid for an athlete is alcohol, as this is going to bog the body down further than just about anything else. If you are an athlete and want to perform at your top level, there is no question that you should limit the amount of alcohol you drink as much as you can. Sugary foods and carbs should not be eaten in excess, although there may be some exceptions when it comes to carbs. If you are a long-distance runner, swimmer, biker, triathlete, or any other type of athlete that burns a massive number of calories, you may need to increase the number of carbs that you eat. Again, it all depends on the actual sport and the number of calories that are being burned on a regular basis. The diet that the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, eats is astonishing in terms of size and calories.
Athletes that are engaging in high intensity activities need to eat the right foods and fuel their bodies the correct way if they want to perform at the best of their ability. The more nutrients and quality foods that the body has to draw from, the better the body will perform when asked to do so. A huge amount of success in sports comes from a proper diet, so if you want to excel as much as you can the best thing you can do is refine your diet, kick out processed and fast foods and stick to high quality, nutrient dense foods.