LINK: Is it OK for an athlete to not eat “clean”?

I was recently approached by one of the writers at for their “Ask an RD” segment. For part of it, I was asked to choose a reader question to answer. I came across the following:

“Does it make you any less of an athlete or at a disadvantage to have sweets and not the “cleanest” foods all the time? What is clean eating? And/or what is the line between being flexible with food and not worrying too much about it, and wanting to eat healthy to do better without being too controlling or rigid?”

I couldn’t resist answering this one, and hope you enjoy what I have to say!

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