Having a healthy and balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, along with regular exercise. The diet for weightlifters isn’t that different from other healthy diets, however, with weightlifting comes a special regimen that needs to be followed.

For starters, there is an emphasis on quantity and meal timing and this is where it differs from bodybuilding, even though they both involve lifting heavyweights. For competitive weightlifters, the objective isn’t body gaining mass – especially because they need to stay within their own weight categories – but it’s speeding up the recovery time of the muscles.

The right diet should be able to aid the athlete’s body to repair itself during rest periods and to provide the necessary nutrients in order to help them utilize their abilities to their maximum during a performance.

That said, it should be clear by now that training for Olympic weightlifting isn’t just about spending hours at the gym, but also spending time in the kitchen, meal prepping and cooking yourself some healthy meals. You shouldn’t rely on takeout, however healthy or organic the place claims their food is, it’s best to prepare your meals yourself, so that you know exactly what you’re eating.

Education about nutrition is your best friend, there are many books you can read about this, or stuff online, and even order some cookbooks to help you. Getting some practical kitchen appliances is one of the best favors you’ll ever do for yourself. It’ll save you a lot of time and energy, especially when you’ve been to the gym all morning and just want to whip up a great meal to fuel yourself up.

So, before your workout, you need to eat more starchy foods like rice, potatoes, quinoa, oats, bread, whole-wheat pastas, and a lot less fats. Carbs will give you enough energy to burn while working out, but you need to limit these after your workout, so as to not gain unnecessary weight. What will help you build strength is protein, so, any protein powders, lean meats, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt, is great. You need to include these macros in your diet every single day in order to maximize muscle growth and decrease recovery time.

We don’t even need to mention the crucial importance of eating fruit and veggies and limiting sugar intake, because we think that since you’re here, you must know about the basics.

Good luck!