Sports Nutrition Quick Tips

FLUIDS

A major key to successful workouts is staying well-hydrated before, during and after your workouts. Long workouts, excessive heat, humidity, and fluid losses through sweat can significantly affect your ability to exercise and compete.

Hydration Tips:

FUEL YOURSELF REGULARLY

Eat three to six (or more) meals or snacks each day. EAT BREAKFAST! Eating breakfast helps you fuel up your muscles and get your body ready for an active, busy day. Don’t forget lunch. Fueling up early in the day means you’ll be ready for your afternoon or evening workout instead of running on fumes. Refuel after your workouts. Try carbohydrate-rich foods and fluids for your evening meal like potatoes, vegetables, pastas and fruit/fruit juices. Eating carbohydrates after hard exercise keeps you from feeling chronically fatigued and gets you ready for exercise and activity the next day.

CARBOHYDRATES

High Carbohydrate Foods – Choose mostly whole grain carbs when possible:

Breakfast:
•  Pancakes/waffles
•  Toast
•  Bagels
•  Cereal (hot & cold)
•  Low fat granola bars
•  Yogurt
•  Milk

Lunch/Dinner:
•  Pastas
•  Rice
•  Bread/rolls/tortillas
•  Potatoes
•  Fruit/fruit juices
•  Yogurt
•  Milk
•  Salads/vegetables

Snacks:
•  Granola bars
•  Low fat crackers
•  Pretzels
•  Light popcorn
•  Cereal
•  Fruit/fruit juices
•  Dried Fruits
•  Fig bars


WHAT ABOUT PROTEIN?

Protein helps your active muscles stay strong and healthy. Choose lean protein to repair tissues and build muscle. A good goal is 3 servings of dairy products daily (1 cup of yogurt or milk, 1.5 oz of cheese, 1 cup frozen yogurt), AND at least one good meat or high quality vegetarian protein source (3 oz. turkey, a chicken breast, hamburger, bean burrito, hummus on pita). An easy calculation for endurance athletes is 1.2–1.4 grams /kilogram of body weight and 1.2-1.7grams/kilograms of body weight for strength athletes.

FAT

Your body needs healthy fats to function properly. Athletes can accomplish this by incorporating nuts, olive oil, avocados, flaxseed, and fish (such as salmon and tuna) into their diet. Moderation is the key here. Fat is a good energy source, carries fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) to tissues and adds flavor and texture to foods. Generally, if you are eating a balanced diet with a variety of different foods your fat intake will be just about right. Don’t stress about counting fat grams, just try to choose healthy low-fat choices most of the time.

PRE-EXERCISE EATING GUIDELINES

The goal of eating prior to exercise is to ensure adequate energy for the body during workouts and to avoid stomach upset. Keep the following in mind:

POST-EXERCISE EATING GUIDELINES

References:

“Hydration Tips” Texas Heart Institute. July 2009. <http://www.texasheart.org/hic/topics/hsmart/hydrate.cfm> Accessed 10 May 2010.
Coleman, Ellen. "Reconsider Athletes' Carbohydrate Needs" Today's Dietitian 12.3 (March 2010): 46.
Kieth, Robert E. “Sports Nutrition for Young Adults #1: Protein" Alabama Cooperative Extension System: May 1997. <http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/H/HE-0748/> Accessed 10 May 201
American Dietetic Association web site: http://www.eatright.org