Optimizing Your Body for Peak Athletic Performance (Without Quitting Your Job)

Exercise on floor.
Medically Reviewed
June 20, 2024

Let’s face it: the “weekend warrior” life isn’t easy. You juggle a demanding career during the week, then hit the gym or training grounds with gusto on weekends. While your dedication is admirable, this lifestyle can push your body to its limits.  

Here’s the good news: a proactive approach to wellness can help you achieve peak performance—even with a packed schedule. 

As a functional medicine practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition, hormone therapy, and a root cause approach, I see many clients like you. They prioritize health but struggle to maintain peak performance due to the demands of their careers.  

The conventional approach often falls short, relying on reactive measures like pain management pills instead of addressing the underlying issues. That’s where functional medicine shines. 

Functional Medicine: Beyond the Band-Aid 

Traditional medicine often focuses on treating symptoms after they arise. Functional medicine, on the other hand, takes a proactive, holistic approach. We delve deeper to identify the root cause of imbalances that may be hindering your performance. This can include factors like: 

  • Nutrient deficiencies: A lack of essential vitamins, minerals, or healthy fats can impact energy levels, recovery, and overall health. 
  • Hormonal imbalances: Fluctuations in hormones like cortisol, testosterone, and thyroid hormones can affect strength, muscle recovery, and sleep quality. 
  • Gut health: Dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria) can lead to inflammation, fatigue, and impaired nutrient absorption. 

Advanced Diagnostics: Getting a Clearer Picture 

Functional medicine goes beyond basic blood tests. We utilize advanced diagnostic tools to gain a deeper understanding of your health status. These may include: 

  • Functional blood chemistry analysis: This goes beyond standard blood tests, providing a more comprehensive picture of your nutrient levels, hormone status, and markers of inflammation. 
  • Food sensitivity testing: Identifying foods causing hidden sensitivities can improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost energy levels. 
  • Stool testing: This test assesses gut health by analyzing metabolites produced by gut bacteria, providing vital clues to potential gut imbalances. 

By combining these tests with a detailed history and your health goals, we can create a personalized roadmap to optimizing your health and performance. 

Integrative Wellness Tools: Your Performance Powerhouse 

Functional medicine offers the integration of evidence-based tools to address your individual needs. Here are some key players: 

  • Functional Nutrition: We work with you to design a personalized meal plan that fuels your body with the right nutrients for optimal energy, performance, and recovery. 
  • IV Therapy: Intravenous (IV) drips deliver essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants directly into your bloodstream for quicker absorption, which is especially beneficial for busy schedules. 
  • Targeted Supplementation: Based on your lab results, we recommend targeted supplements to address specific deficiencies and enhance your performance. 
  • Non-Invasive Pain Management: Therapies like acupuncture, massage therapy, and equiscope (muscle energy therapy) can address muscle pain, improve circulation, and promote faster recovery. 

The Weekend Warrior Workout: Smart Training 

While pushing yourself is important, smart training is key. Here are some tips for optimizing your weekend workouts: 

  • Periodization: Alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity workouts to allow your body to recover. 
  • Cross-Training: Mix in activities like yoga or swimming to improve overall fitness and prevent overuse injuries. 
  • Warm-up and Cool-down: These routines are essential for preventing injuries and promoting optimal muscle function. 
  • Listen to Your Body: Don’t push through pain. Take rest days when needed and adjust your training based on your body’s signals. 

Stress Management: Your Secret Weapon 

Stress is a performance killer. Work-life balance is crucial for optimal athletic performance. Here are some stress-busting techniques: 

  • Mindfulness practices: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga can help you manage stress and improve sleep quality. 
  • Prioritization: Delegate tasks at work and learn to say no to take some pressure off. 
  • Social connection: Maintaining strong social ties can be a buffer against stress. 

The Power of a Team Approach 

Functional medicine thrives on collaboration. Consider working with a team of practitioners, like at Nava Health, to create a comprehensive wellness plan. 

Taking a proactive approach to your health isn’t about becoming a professional athlete; it’s about enabling you to perform at your personal best, both in the gym and in the boardroom.  

StephanieM Headshot Doctor - Nava Health

Stephanie is an autoimmune advocate and Functional Nutritionist who blends science, humor, and herbalism to create personalized nutrition and integrative health strategies. With over five years of clinical experience, Stephanie has helped numerous clients overcome various health issues, from weight management to autoimmunity and hormonal balance.