Organic Foods and Athletes

Most athletes, depending upon your sport, age and gender, are beginning to understand that in order to physically perform at the highest level, nutrition is a component to their routine. I did not say, KEY COMPONENT, because I still feel that the number of athletes understanding food=fuel is not on the top of most athletes lists.

So, if you are one of the few athletes that believes that food is fuel, then I have a question for you. Should you buy organic?

First, what is organic? I have the link here for you to take the time to read and find out: , however, the word organic, is getting harder and harder to define, even for myself. I’m frequently asked my opinion on the subject and I feel there are a multitude of layers to this one word, and it certainly will not be answered in such a short script. I do however, have a continuous theme that I used to tell my students- I can’t teach you anything, but all I can do is make you think. So here is to thinking.

My life, my passion is food and my career is working with athletes. My belief system is that food = fuel. So, when I get the question, which is ALL the time, “Chef, should I buy organic?” I tell my story of one of my clients asking me the same question and my response to him.

I have a questionnaire/client assessment that I ask all of clients. One of the key questions on my questionnaire is: What kind of car or truck do you see yourself as? It’s fun to see which car they see themselves as. The majority consider themselves as high performance race cars, which I don’t disagree with, and so, I begin to tell them my story of my client and fueling.

My client one day asked me why the grocery bills were so high and why I was purchasing expensive food items. We were in the garage, I looked at him and I looked at his Ferrari. I said to him, you love your Ferrari- correct? So, what kind of gasoline do you have to put into that expensive car of yours? He said, you know that you can only use Shell 93 + octane in that car! told my client, that your car gets better fueling than you do! Feisty- but my point is that he took better care of his car than himself! I said that I am the one creating the fuel that is going into your tank. So just like your Ferrari, you need cleaner fuel consistently in order to maintain your high-performance engine, which is your body.
Owning a Ferrari means that you just can’t pull up to any old gas station and fill it up. You need to plan and figure out, where is the nearest gas station that has that type of fuel. So, if you want to be cheap about it, you can put in a lesser quality fuel, but ultimately, you will begin to break the engine down and it will run rough. Kind of like an athlete, who is poorly fueling, pre/post game, off season etc.

Now, if you consider yourself an excellent athlete, and you also consider your body as a high-performance engine, then why are you putting cheap gas (food) into your tank?

Clean fuel is the answer to a high-performance engine. Clean eating starts with an organic food base. Maybe, just maybe, you should gravitate towards a cleaner food intake. Got you thinking?