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You are what you eat, so it’s no coincidence that many of the world’s best athletes also have the cleanest diets. A good diet helps improve body composition, energy levels, on-field performance, and overall health. If you are looking to improve your diet, you should start by eliminating these five foods…

White Bread: Whole grains are an essential part of any balanced diet, but refined grains (such as those found in white bread) should be avoided. During the production process of white bread, all of the vitamins and fiber are stripped from the grain, leaving a product that only raises insulin levels and contributes to weight gain.

Sodas and Juices: It’s no surprise that soda made the list, but many juices are just as bad for you. These sugary drinks are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and empty calories. Don’t think that diet soda is any better for you, either, because it isn’t.

Alcohol: An occasional beer won’t kill you, but over-indulging in alcohol can continue to affect your cells for 72 hours (3 ways) after you stop drinking. Alcohol hinders muscle recovery and reaction time, and increases risk of injury.

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Fatty Meats: Not all protein is created equal. Low-fat sources of protein – such as chicken, turkey, fish, and lean beef – should be staples in the diets of all athletes. Notice we left out fattier options such as bacon, sausage, salami, and pepperoni.

Flavored Yogurt: Dairy + fruit = healthy, right? This is not always the case. Store-bought flavored yogurts are usually loaded up with sugar. Opt for Greek yogurt instead, which is higher in protein and usually lower in added sweeteners.

Looking for more foods to cut out of your diet? Check out this list of 20 from Spoon University.

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Insports is southern Connecticut’s premier sports facility. Our indoor arena is home to a full-sized turf field, several hardwood courts, multipurpose rooms, and more. Visit our website for a list of upcoming leagues and clinics, or give us a call at (203) 268-1214.