The following information provides you with a quick look at what works
Best in nutritional care for the athlete. For more information you may want to consult a registered dietitian.
The goals of nutritional care for athletes are simple and straightforward. For the most part, nutritional care should:
1. ensure that athletes have adequate fluids during periods of active training and competition
2. provide adequate calories to meet growth and development needs (if in youth and adolescent years)
3. provide calories to meet extra needs of physical activity
4. supply nutrients from food
5. instill sound nutrition principles and practices that will last a lifetime
The best eating habits for the athlete may be as follows:
1. Design a meal pattern that fits your daily routine. Plan to eat at least three times a day. Use snacks between regular meals to help meet caloric and nutrient needs.
2. Eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates (starches). Starchy foods such as pasta, breads, cereals, potatoes, corn, peas and others provide a major energy source to fuel your activities. These foods are also a source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
3. Drink sufficient fluids to stay hydrated during training and competition periods – don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink.
4. Eat a diet that contains a variety of foods from breads and cereals; fruits; vegetables; meat and meat substitutes, and dairy groups. It is your best insurance for getting needed nutrients.
1. Eat lightly before an athletic competition.
2. Eat complex carbohydrates, keep protein and fat intakes low since these slow digestions.
3. Avoid bulky foods. They may stimulate bowel movements. Bulky foods include raw fruits and vegetables, dry beans and peas, popcorn.
4. Avoid gas-forming foods such as vegetables from the cabbage family and cooked dry beans
5. Eat slowly and chew well.
6. Drink water to be adequately hydrated. One suggestion is to drink 2 x/i cups water 1 to 2 hours before the event. Follow this by drinking about 1 cups water 15 minutes before the event.
7. Avoid drastic changes in your normal diet routine immediately prior to competition. Some athletes prefer to use favorite foods which may give them a psychological edge.
1. Eat carbohydrate-rich foods and beverages as soon as possible after competition. They will replenish glycogen stores quickly and get the athlete back into performance shape. Fruits, juices, high carbohydrate drinks, pop are examples.
2. Replace fluids that have been lost. For every pound that is lost, drink 2 cups of fluids.
3. Replace any potassium or sodium that has been lost during competition or training by using foods. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of potassium. Replace sodium by eating salty foods.
4. Return to your normal high carbohydrate diet at your next meal.