SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Good Things Utah) – Athletes and spectators alike need the right nutrition to keep them going throughout any sporting event. Registered dietitian Trish Brimhall shared some tips to help us better understand how we can fuel our bodies through everything we do.

There are often more spectators than there are athletes, and Trish recommends that both follow the same nutrition rules. Her first tip is to never skip meals and don’t diet. Whether it’s the business of an athlete’s schedule or the pressure to make weight, skipping a meal can seem like the easy way out. This is a tricky slope, as studies have shown athletes are at a higher risk of disordered eating. Making sure to avoid the dieting narrative and behavior is vital to keeping your body fueled.

Her next tip is to go by the 80/20 rule. This reminds us that healthy eating is not perfect eating. 80% of the time you have a decent and solid routine in place, emphasizing nutritious and whole foods. The other 20% of the time is fast food, sweets, whatever you want. Creating a balance is the healthiest way to eat, and by following this rule you can minimize feelings of food guilt.

Another great tip for athletes is to rethink your post-game meal. Instead of hitting a drive-through, make your way to a grocery store and get easy things like pre-made salads and protein to pair them with. It is important to refuel your body with whole foods loaded with protein, produce, and grains after physical activity.

When it comes to hydration, Trish says to follow the hour rule. If the activity is one hour or less, opt for water. If it is over one hour or requires excess exertion or heat, you should choose a sports drink. A simple potassium-based electrolyte drink is a perfect pick.

For more information on how to fuel your body, find more from Trish Brimhall on her website