When a workout or race goes bad, nutrition is often to blame. To maximize your performance potential, avoid these common fueling mistakes.
1. Caffeine dependence
Although caffeine is a universally known stimulant that offers a much-needed adrenaline rush, its strategic use is not for every athlete. If tolerable, a safe caffeine dosage is about 3–4 grams per kilogram of body weight consumed about 60 minutes before activity, such as a 4-ounce espresso. Although your morning 1–3 cups of coffee routine is perfectly healthy, more is not better. If you find you “need” caffeine pills or energy drinks to fight fatigue or to get through a workout, you are developing an unhealthy dependence on caffeine, which could be masking a more significant underlying issue like under-fueling, sleep deprivation, stress or overtraining.