We encourage athletes to develop good nutrition habits. In a general sense, we address two main issues: what you eat and when you eat it.
What you eat
: A balanced diet includes macronutrients from the three food groups - protein, carbohydrate, and fat. To enhance athletic performance, we recommend the ratios found in the Zone diet
: 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins, and 30% fat. Following these simple guidelines will help: eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. When you shop in the grocery store, stay around the perimeter of the store - that's where the meats, vegetables, and perishable carbohydrates are marketed. When you shop in the center of the store, you'll find the processed carbohydrates with high glycemic indexes, most with sugar added as a flavoring. We discourage use of energy drinks like "Red Bull." Coffee in moderation is fine, but should be balanced with extra water. Caffeine is a diuretic and dehydrates your body. We encourage athletes to double their normal intake of water, especially during periods of heavy training and competition. Water is the best rehydrator, but sports drinks in moderation are fine. Milk - especially chocolate - is an excellent rehydration source and provides nutrition. Nutritional requirements of young athletes include an increased requirement for energy, protein and probably carbohydrate compared to non-athletic peers. Intakes of micronutrients may also be elevated, particularly iron, but more research is required. Iron is the most commonly reported nutritional deficiency.
When you eat
: We'd prefer you eat 5 smaller meals per day rather than the traditional 3. We encourage breakfast within an hour of waking up, a lunch and a small mid-afternoon snack, followed by a small snack with protein within 15 minutes of the end of the workout, and ending with a balanced dinner at home with the family. Research
confirms that timing
of nutrient ingestion is critical. Eating protein and carbohydrates within 15 minutes of intense exercise increases the value of the calories by speeding their use in the body's adaptation to stress - larger muscles, stronger bones, and faster recovery. We provide low-fat chocolate milk after workouts.
How you drink: Studies show that athletes should drink 20 ounces of water and eat a fist-sized portion of carbohydrate-type food one hour before workout. Gulping the water instead of sipping helps the water leave the stomach faster.
What Exactly Can You Eat Before or During a Workout or Competition?
· Option 1: Apple (CHO) and Cheese (protein and fat)- contains the amino acid arginine which spikes HGH to higher levels.
· Option 2: Whole wheat or rye bread (CHO) and peanut butter (protein and fat). Peanuts also have arginine & are a good fat that will slow down the entry of sugar from bread into the body.
· Option 3: Whole wheat or rye bread (CHO) and chicken or turkey (protein) & butter (fat). In fact, fat releases an enzyme which burns fat.
· Option 4: 2% or whole Milk (CHO, protein and fat). Milk has the amino acid tryptopham which induces HGH release. You need at least 2% fat in order to absorb vitamin D & calcium.
· Option 5: Fruit (CHO) and protein (eggs - high in arginine).
· Option 6: Power bar (40-30-30) or sports drink (40-30-30). Read the label. Know what is in your food!
· Option 7: Pure water is the most important aid to recovery and peak performance. Water also dilutes acid in the stomach. A loss of 1-2% water hurts performance. Proper hydration is a 24 hour issue.