Nutrition for Athletic Performance
Jan. 27, 2005
When you pick your carbohydrates, you should make an effort to consume those with a lower glycemic index. These carbohydrates are "low density carbohydrates" and are high in fiber. Such carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables and beans) are slowly absorbed into the blood stream and insulin levels stay at moderate levels for longer periods of time. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals as well!
Stay away from those with a higher glycemic index ("high density carbohydrates" such as grains, starches, pasta and bagels). The following chart will help:
Glycemic Index Table: Sorted from High GI Foods to Low GI Foods
146 GLUCOSE TABLETS 79 OATMEAL 131 WHITE RICE 78 POPCORN 129 WHEAT BREAD 78 CORN 128 INSTANT RICE 77 SWEET POTATO 127 RICE CHEX 77 POTATO CHIPS 121 BAKED POTATO 75 KIWIFRUIT 119 CORN FLAKES 74 KIDNEY BEANS 118 CORN CHEX 71 ICECREAM (LOWFAT) 117 MICROWAVE POTATO 69 BAKED BEANS 117 RICE CRISPIES 63 CANNED PEARS 116 PRETZELS 62 GRAPES 108 DONUTS 62 ORANGE 107 PUMPKIN 60 ALL BRAN 107 FRENCH FRIES 59 SPAGHETTI 104 HONEY 55 PINTO BEANS 103 BAGEL 54 TOMATO 101 CARROTS 52 APPLE 99 SHREDDED WHEAT 51 YOGURT 96 GRAPENUTS 46 SKIM MILK 91 RAISINS 41 LENTIL 88 MUFFINS 39 MILK (FULL FAT) 87 ICECREAM 36 BARLEY 87 HAMBURGER BUN 34 PLUM 83 WHITE RICE 27 RICE BRAN 82 PITA BREAD 25 SOYA BEANS 79 BROWN RICE 21 PEANUTS 79 OATMEAL COOKIES 20 YOGURT (LOWFAT)
For your body to work at optimal levels, the fats within each cell must not be too viscous nor too fluid (called the "fluidity zone"). For this reason, monosaturated fats should make up the majority of your fat intake. Furthermore, some monosaturated fats like cod liver oil or the fats found in salmon, contain important fatty acids called eicosapentaenioc acid (EPA) which help maintain proper hormonal balance.
Some Tips about Meals, and Eating Before and After Exercise
* 2-3 hours before practice/game/workout, eat a meal that is high in complex carbohydrates, low protein, and very low fat. A higher fat and protein meal takes 2-3x longer to digest, will make you feel sluggish and tired, and will not provide you with the adequate energy you will need to perform at an optimum level for competition.
* Within 20 to 30 minutes of ending your exercise session or practice you should consume some sort of carbohydrate to begin replenishing your lost glycogen. Recent studies have found carbohydrate uptake into the muscle is at least 2X as efficient right after exercise, they have also found that fructose (sugar from fruits) is a much better way to do this because unlike other sugars (carbohydrates) it goes from your blood directly into your muscle, not first to the liver like the rest of the carbohydrates. So enjoy fruit following you exercise and you'll be putting twice as much carbohydrate right back into your tank! Approximately 50 minutes to 90 minutes after eating this serving of carbohydrates, consume 30-50 grams of protein for same reason listed above. Your body is ready to begin repairing what you just broke down during your workout.
* Don't consume large meals within 1.5 to 2 hours before an exercise session or practice because a large amount of blood will not be available for your muscles. This will decrease the efficiency of your bodies ability to remove the necessary toxins that result from exercise (Lactic Acid)!
* Spread your meals throughout the day if possible, eat the regular breakfast, lunch and dinner, but also snack on nutritious food between meals (Protein and Carbohydrates, not Simple Sugars; no Chips, Candy Bars etc.!)
* Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because after sleeping all night long the glycogen in your liver is nearly depleted, and if you don't refill that tank you body will start to take protein from your muscle or glycogen from your muscle to maintain blood sugar levels which is the primary energy source of the brain!! Most high school students don't eat breakfast in the morning; every good athlete realizes the importance of a good breakfast and includes it in their daily schedule!
* Include a Multi Vitamin-Mineral supplement in your diet to insure that you are getting all of the necessary micro-nutrients these don't give your body energy, but if you run out of them your body will not function near its optimal capacity!
Five Nutrition Rules That Apply to Everyone
2. Remember to balance your caloric intake. In each of your 5 meals, approx. 25 - 35% of the calories should come from fats, 25 - 30 % from protein, and 50% from carbohydrates.
3. When you sit down to eat, ask yourself, "What am I going to be doing with the next three hours of my life?" Then, if you are taking a nap, eat less; if you are planning on a training session, eat more.
4. Another thing to remember whether you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle is to "zig-zag" your caloric intake. For example, if you want to lose fat, reduce your calories during the week, but eat normal on Friday night and Saturday. This will (1) readjust your BMR upwards, (2) support lean tissue building, and (3) give you a psychological "lift". Remember, in rule 1 you learned that your fat storing enzymes were no longer present, so you can eat sweets once in a while. In fact, if you want to put on lean muscle, you must do this!
5. Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day. This will insure your replacing fluids lost during exercise. You need not wait until you are thirsty. By then, you are in a depleted state. Drink these glasses of water throughout a days time, not all at once. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase , while an increase in water can reduce fat deposits. Here's why: the kidney's can't function properly without enough water . When they don't work to capacity ,some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But, if the liver has to do some of the kidney's work , it can't operate at full throttle. As a result , it metabolizes less fat and more fat is stored in the body. The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give your body more water. Only then will stored water be released.
Will Cutting Calories Result in Fat Loss?
Actually, much of the weight you will lose will come from muscle tissue, NOT fat. Why? Because your body tends to use ("excess") muscle tissue for needed energy before it reclaims fat deposits.
The answer is to TAKE YOUR TIME with fat loss, and either preserve or build muscle tissue by integrating scientific weight training, mild aerobics, dietary manipulation, supplementation and other technologies into your lifestyle. Follow the rules above!
NEVER attempt to gain or lose "weight!" Instead, you should always strive to gain muscle and lose fat!
Daily Food Breakdown
Body weight (lbs) x 0.9 = grams of protein needed daily
Carbohydrate intake: Body weight (lbs) x 2.5 = grams of carbohydrates needed daily.
Fat Intake: 0.25 x body weight (lbs) = grams of fat per day
Total Caloric Content of Daily Food Intake:
Protein Intake Total x 4 calories = total calories
* Add the three sumations from each intake category and you will receive your total daily calories.
*This is an estimated daily intake which will promote lean body weight, decrease body fat, and enhance strength and endurance.
Remember, in order to increase your metabolism and reduce body fat, you need to eat more meals and smaller portions. In order to get the most out of each meal, take the total daily intake for protein, carbs, and fat and divide it by the total number of daily meals.
20-25% Protein = 'x' grams divided by 5 daily meals = protein grams per meal
The fat intake is going to be the hardest to regulate, so when you buy food only buy foods low in fat and sodium content.
Stay Away from Fast Food!!! Completely!!!!!!!!!!
Basic Diet for Strength and Body Weight Increases