If you’re an athlete, diet and fitness regimen, and how you care for yourself are explicitly important. It may be something you tell yourself but it can also come from your coaches, trainers, dietitians, etc. Paying attention to what goes into your body is paramount to succeed in the world of sports. An athlete should follow the below steps rigorously if they are serious about success:

Get at least 8-10 hours of sleep everyday

As an athlete, you are constantly pushing your body to the limit. Rest to recover properly and build strength instead of building fatigue. You want to make the most out of your energy and need a chance to recharge.

Listen to your coach

Listen and stick to the fitness plan that your coaches give you. Different sports require a different set of bodily skills, but keeping in shape is universal. Remember what muscles you need to work (throw in some cardio) and continue to strengthen your body every day – and – leave room for recovery days.

Eliminate soda and refined sugars from your diet.

Professional athletes are special because of the care they give their body. They blow off steam once in a great while on the off-season. Alcohol and junk food will completely slow your body down and affect your body’s natural state by throwing everything off. There is no reason, as an athlete, to slow yourself down.

Eat and drink to compete

Eating clean and drinking PLENTY of water is just the first half of what you need to think about when it comes to diet. Athletes eat strategically. This can mean something different for everyone, and there are too many “athlete diets” out there to follow. Try to keep it simple and, again, strategic. Always eat breakfast. Eat complex carbohydrates on the nights before games and on game days (for lasting stored energy). Eat protein after a practice to rebuild strength.

Take care of your injuries

If something does not feel right in your body, it needs to be addressed immediately. It may be more serious than you realize. Ignoring the problem could do permanent damage. It is very important to listen to your body’s needs.