Nutrition

Acceleration Sports Institute

Athletes Nutrition Guide

Food is Fuel….A strong and athletic body is built in the kitchen!

The food an athlete eats before, during, and after a workout is important for both performance and comfort during exercise. Energy foods such as bars, drinks, and other quickly digestible carbohydrates can help prevent hunger symptoms during exercise and keep you from depleting energy too quickly.

The major source of fuel for during exercise is carbohydrates which gets stored in the muscles as glycogen in the days before exercise. It’s important to know that it takes time to fully fill glycogen stores. What you eat after exercise can help hinder this process. Eating the right foods at the right time after a workout is essential for recovery and being prepared for the next workout.

What you eat before a workout is a bit more individualized. It can depend upon your unique needs and preferences, but should be designed considering the intensity, length, and type of workout you plan on doing.

What to eat before exercise

Since glucose is the desired energy source during most exercise, a pre-exercise meal should include foods that are higher in carbohydrates and easily digestible. This includes foods such as pasta, fruits, breads, energy bars and drinks.

Sports Nutrition for All day Events/Tournaments

Many young athletes are traveling frequently on the weekends to various sporting events and tournaments. Planning your nutrition and knowing when and what to eat and drink is crucial when you are competing in all-day events such as tournaments and meets.

You must take in consideration the time of your event, the amount of your meal, and the type of energy you will be expending. Also be aware of the amount of fluid you’re consuming. It’s best to plan and prepare meals that you’ve tried before and know will sit well with you during the event. This is not a time to try "new" foods before your performance.

Suggested Foods for Exercise

Eating before exercise is something the athlete must determine based on past experience. Some athletes can handle food much better before training while others will experience discomfort and sluggishness.

Some general guidelines include eating a solid meal 4 hours before exercise, a snack or a high carbohydrate drink 2-3 hours before exercise, and a fluid replacement 1 hour before exercise.

1 hour before competition

Fresh fruit such as apples, peaches, grapes, orange

Energy gels

Up to 1 ½ cups of a sport drink

2-3 hours before competition

Fresh fruits

bread, pasta, bagel

Yogurt

Water

3-4 hours before competition

Fresh fruit

bread, bagels

Pasta with tomato sauce

Baked potatoes

Energy bar

cereal with milk

Yogurt

Toast bread with a bit of peanut butter, lean meat, or cheese

Foods to Avoid before exercise

Foods with a lot of fat or fiber can be very difficult and slow to digest and remain in the system for a long time. They can also pull blood into the stomach to aid in digestion. This can lead to discomfort and cause cramping.

Foods such as meats, doughnuts, fries, potato chips, and candy bars should be avoided in a pre-exercise meal.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and what works for one might not work for someone else. Factor in individual preferences and favorite foods, and an eating plan is a highly individualized thing.

Hydration during exercise

Staying hydrated is very important during exercise. Adequate fluid intake is essential for performance and safety. The longer and more intense your exercise/sport, the more important it becomes to drink the right amount of fluids.

Dehydration decreases performance

Studies have shown that athletes who lose as little as two percent of their bodyweight through sweating has a drop in blood volume which causes the heart to work harder to circulate blood. A drop in blood volume can lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue, and heat exhaustion.

Common Causes of Dehydration in Athletes

Inadequate fluid intake

Excessive sweating

Failure to replace fluid losses during and after exercise

Exercising in hot, dry weather

General Guidelines for Fluid Needs during Exercise

Although specific fluid recommendations aren’t possible due to individual variability, most athletes can use the following guidelines as a good starting point, and make changes where need be.

Hydration before Exercise

Drink about 15-20 fl oz, 2-3 hours before training

Drink 8-10 fl oz 10-15 minutes before exercise

Hydration during Exercise

Drink 8-10 fl oz every 10-15 minutes during exercise

If exercising or playing longer than 90 minutes, drink 8-10 fl oz of a sport drink (with no more than 8% carbohydrate) every 20-30 minutes

Hydration after Exercise

Weight yourself before and after exercise and replace fluid losses.

Drink 20-24 fl oz of water for every 1b lost

Consume a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein within 2 hours after exercise to replenish glycogen stores.

A great post workout drink is chocolate milk. You could drink 8-12 fl oz of chocolate milk after your training session.

Protein

(grams)

Carbs (grams)

Fat (grams)

Calories

Fiber

(grams)

Protein Source (one portion)

fish (cod, pollack, flounder, bass, etc), 4 oz, avg

25

0

1

109

0

salmon or trout (4 oz)

21

0

7

147

0

beef - eye round steak, 4 oz

28

0

6

166

0

pork tenderloin, 4oz

21

0

5

129

0

1 cup 1% cottage cheese

32

6

2

170

0

1 cup fat free ricotta cheese

28

12

0

160

0

typical chicken breast, 4 oz

26

0

4

140

0

canned tuna (one small can chunk light)

33

0

2

150

0

three whole eggs (large)

20

0

14

200

0

extra lean ground turkey (4 oz)

28

0

1.5

125.5

0

ground buffalo

28

0

8

184

0

Carbohydrate Source (one portion)

1/2 cup dry oatmeal

5

27

3

143

4

1/3 cup dry oat bran

8

23

4

142

6

1/2 cup rice bran

10

34

14

245

19

1/4 cup wheat germ

8

19

3

123

4

1/2 large sweet potato

3

25

1

112

3

1/2 cup dry barley

3

26

1

116

3

1/2 cup All Bran cereal

4

24

0.5

86.5

10

1 cup Kashi Good Friends Cinna raisin cereal

4

39

1.5

155.5

10

1 cup Kashi Good Friends cereal

4

32

1.5

127.5

10

1/2 cup Fiber One cereal

2

24

0.5

66.5

14

2 slices Martins whole wheat potato bread

12

28

2

154

8

one serving (2 oz dry) Hodgson Mill W/W pasta

9

34

1

163

6

1/2 cup blueberries

2

19

0

72

4

1 apple

1

23

0

84

4

1 orange

2

25

0

99

3

10 strawberries

1

18

0

67

3

1/4 cup dry Kashi Breakfast Pilaf (1/2 c. cooked)

6

30

3

153

6

one serving baked beans

6

27

2

132

6

Healthy Fat Source (one portion)

One Tbsp of non-hydrogenated unrefined oils

0

0

14

126

0

2 Tbsp "natural" peanut butter

8

5

16

190

2

2 Tbsp "natural" almond butter

6

5

16

185

2

¼ cup guacamole

2

6

14

144

4

¼ cup coconut milk

1

1

11

105

0

¼ cup deshelled sunflower seeds

7

4

15

168

3

¼ cup almonds

6

4

15

165

3

Last Modified on September 16, 2011


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