Sure we’re all human. But, we all have unique dietary needs. While there are generally accepted basics of healthy nutrition, the absolute best diet for you may be different than the best one for your friend or even your brother. If you consider yourself an athlete, which you should if you are doing a program like P90X, your nutritional needs are different than your sedentary counterparts. Knowing this and finding a corresponding healthy diet for athletes will ensure you are fueling your body appropriately for optimal performance.
When developing a healthy diet for athletes, you need to consider two reasons you eat. First and foremost you eat for fuel. You need calories for energy. Secondly, you eat to repair tissues that are traumatized during workout sessions. A complete healthy diet for athletes takes both of these into consideration.
This article goes into great detail about when you eat. It outlines the importance of a post workout snack, pre workout snack, and hydration during the workout. For endurance athletes, there is even the potentially necessary mid workout snack. Marathoners can take in nutrition at several points during a race; they need to.
Check out this page from the Colorado State University Extension Office for details on how being an athlete can change your nutritional needs. They explain why extra carbs are needed and how proteins can mend traumatized muscles.
What you eat as a sedentary person and what you might eat as an athlete are likely very different. This is why there are so many options for supplements in a healthy diet for athletes. Not all supplements are necessary however. The basics involve a high quality protein supplement and a recovery formula for post workout nutrition.
Protein supplements can be useful post workout, as meal replacements, and as a convenient snack alternative to the vending machines at work, something that has no place in a healthy diet for athletes.
A top quality fitness program should make it much easier to determine how your nutrition should change as you become more and more athletic. Nutrition guides and training tools do a good job at explaining the need for high quality, high performance nutrition.