Nutrition & Diet

Being sick. We all hate it and we all want to avoid it. For athletes, illness can have a devastating effect on performance. It can affect your training and development for the upcoming season. It can cost you a medal and affect your placing at an event. It sets you back in a big way and needs to be avoided to optimize achievement. Due to training demands, athletes walk a tightrope between extreme health and weakened immunity. Intense, strenuous exercise helps to prepare the body to operate at peak performance. Exercise also causes increased levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and...Read more
Water - the chemical compound of H 2 0 (two hydrogen atoms bound with one oxygen atom) is the basis for life. It is second only to oxygen in importance for health, making up to 75% of the body. Every cell depends on water to perform essential functions. Although water does not provide a source of calories, adequate hydration is at least as important to good athletic performance as the food you eat and is essential for efficient training, playing and racing. What is hydration, and why is it important to my health? Hydration is the replacement of body fluids lost by the body each day through...Read more
Why should I eat before exercise? Top-up muscle (a little) and liver (mostly) glycogen stores Ensure adequate blood sugar level. Prevent hunger before and during exercise. What should I eat? Carbohydrate-rich foods – breads, grains, cereal, fruits, vegetables Familiar foods that are well tolerated and easily digested Small amounts of protein (if meal is 2-4 hours before) – 1-2 oz lean meat, 2 tbsp peanut butter, ¾ cup low fat yogurt, 1 cup milk or ½ cup cottage cheese, 1 egg Liquid meals (1 hour before or if tendency to have a nervous stomach) such as fruit smoothies...Read more
Nutrition composition and quality of food is essential to athletic performance. For athletes who prepare their own food, knowledge of how to make quick, good tasting, easy and nutritious meals can make the difference between fueling for high performance or a flop performance. Are you cooking for performance? Check out the following guidelines to make sure your cooking skills are high performance: Cooking Up Vegetables Best cooking methods: raw, steamed, grilled, roasted, sautéed To keep important vitamins and minerals in: Vegetables should remain slightly crunchy Use cooking spray or a tsp of...Read more
The birds are chirping as you pleasantly awake from 8 hours of sleep. A leisurely breakfast of slow cook oats, yogurt, blueberries and freshly squeezed orange juice as you browse the morning paper. Wait, alarm goes off! Likely your day starts with more of a reluctant roll out of bed after pressing snooze for the last possible time. You grab a coffee and bagel as you dash out the door. Obviously, you know this isn’t the best breakfast; but at lunch you’ll have more time to eat properly. These days we may identify more with morning start number two. The effects of our jam-packed...Read more
Every athlete, whether recreational or elite, has the drive to gain speed, power, agility, technique, endurance, and fitness. Your control over genetics and training outcomes can be influenced to an extent. However, the most controllable factor in developing your athletic potential and performance is the fuel your body is provided. Too many athletes learn about “hitting the wall” by running head on into it, and subsequently how proper nutrition can eliminate these episodes. How many times have you heard an endurance runner say “I would have run a 3:30, but I hit the wall?...Read more
Your daily nutrition is by far the most important consideration in supporting your endurance training. After all, food is fuel. Here's what to do: Daily Guidelines Aim to eat well at least 80% of the time (80-20 Rule) and emphasize a variety of different foods. Eat three meals a day with the largest portion being vegetables or fruit but also ensure you add some lean protein. A minimum of three of the four food groups is ideal. This ensures you get adequate protein and enough carbohydrate to fuel your muscles and brain. Keep fat intake low: a) don't eat a lot of foods that grease...Read more
1. Healthy Eating Good nutrition means eating a variety of foods. Many people get stuck in a routine of eating the same five to ten staple foods over and over again: pasta, bananas, bagels, chicken, carrot sticks and lettuce salad. But we need to mix things up a little. Remember the 80-20 rule: Eat well at least 80 percent of the time but leave some room for soul nourishment and pure pleasure. If you're going to ingest foods or drinks that offer little nutritional value -such as coffee, beer, jelly beans, pop, sugary cakes and so on, make the indulgence worthwhile. If the food offers no...Read more
Carbohydrates Most energy drinks contain anywhere from 27-40g of carbohydrate from sugar. The concentration of these carbohydrates is very high ranging from 20-25%. Sport drinks typically have a concentration between 4-6%. Research by Ryan et al., demonstrated that high concentrations of carbohydrate such as glucose, sucrose, maltodextrins, fructose, and/or galactose will slow the rate at which fluid is absorbed from the intestine into the blood. For sports where fluid replacement due to sweat loss is critical, these drinks may retard the rehydration process. In addition, consuming high...Read more
Sport participation poses a double challenge to feeding your kids well: They require more food, and arguably more nutritious food than the average child. They are rarely at home for meals. Here are some tips on how to help your child eat adequate foods and the most nutritious food: Instill good eating habits at a young age by being a good role model for your child. Be organized and shop regularly so there are always healthy foods available. If your child is too tired to eat, don’t panic. Encourage small, frequent snacks and fluids such as 1% chocolate milk and 100% fruit juice instead...Read more

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