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Author: Jed diehl
Outreach and Marketing Director at Alpine Physical Therapy
Like many of you, I was an active kid. I played multiple sports through high school including lacrosse and swimming and continued with lacrosse through college. During these, what I would call my 'more active years', I spent a considerable amount of time training for competition and focused on the physical skills I needed to develop to get to the next level. What I neglected to realize was the importance of the fuel that my body required to perform optimally. I would later learn just how large a role nutrition plays in an athletes performance and, through the advice of my co-workers here at Alpine Physical Therapy, start to develop better eating habits that have helped me maintain a higher level activity today. Below are the sports nutrition tips that I wish I had known when I was competing but are still valuable to me today!
During Exercise: 8-10oz for every 15min. (If exercising >10min, drink 8-10oz sport drink)
Average Recovery Day: Half your body weight in ounces should be consumed in an average non-competitive day.
VITAMINS & MINERALS
Eat like a jungle animal! Load up on colorful vegetables and fruit to speed up muscle and ligament recovery and reduce post-exercise inflammation.
Simple carbohydrates are absorbed and converted into energy quickly.
-Examples: fruit, juice, energy bars, energy drinks.
Complex carbohydrates take longer to be absorbed and best 4-5 hours before exercise.
-Examples: whole grain bread, cereal, pasta, and rice.
Building blocks of the body, especially muscle, necessary in an athletes' regular diet.
-Examples: lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, milk, nuts, fruit and vegetables.
Largest energy reserve in our body that is a main fuel for long duration, moderate intensity exercise.
Saturated 'bad' fat: consume less than 10% of total calories.
-Examples: red meat, cheese, butter.
Unsaturated 'good' fat: to fuel your body for sport.
-Examples: olive oil, fish, avocado, almonds, soy beans.
Pre-exercise: Complex carbohydrate meal balanced with healthy proteins and fats >5 hours before competition. Simple carbohydrates within 2 hours pre event such as an energy bar or banana.
Post-exercise: Within 2 hours 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein combination to refuel and rebuild muscle.
-Suggestions: chocolate milk, fruit smoothie with low-fate yogurt, energy bar accompanied by water.
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