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Sports Nutrition: Tips for Fueling Athletes



  • Most athletes believe they are hydrated because they drink water
  • Sports drinks should be consumed during any exercise over 30 minutes
  • High water volume foods (fruits and veggies) are critical to rehydrate
  • Every pound lost during activity = 16 oz of sweat!
  • Athletes should weigh themselves before activity and after to determine sweat loss and to rehydrate appropriately!
  • Rehydration should occur over the next 24 hours, don’t guzzle water in a short amount of time, very little is absorbed and usable

       Cramps are caused by inadequate fluid, inadequate sodium and asking your body to do more than it is conditioned for

Body Fat Management

  • No sweet drinks, including juice
  • No Alcohol
  • Plate Method
  • One plate of food
  • No fried food (1X per month)

Strategies to Promote Weight Gain

  • Target 1-2 lbs per week
  • Add 500-1000 calories per day of QUALITY food

Trail mix (600 cal per cup)

Carnation Instant Breakfast (250 cal)

  • Avoid animal fats

Nutritional Recovery

Feed the muscles when they are hungry!

  • First 30 minutes after exercise
  • Carbohydrate/protein ratio of 4:1
  • Chocolate milk, peanut butter sandwich, power bar, chocolate milk, protein shake, etc
  • Athletic performance the next workout will increase by up to 30 minutes!!


  • Best fuel for working muscles
  • Simple carbs (about 15% of daily carbs) include fruit, milk, table sugar
  • Complex carbs include brown rice, potatoes, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta


  • Needed for muscle growth and to repair damage from activity
  • Also needed to make red blood cells which deliver oxygen to muscles
  • Good sources include: cheese, tuna, fish, lean red meats, turkey and soy


  • Fat is needed for energy
  • Fat helps your body use certain vitamins
  • Healthy fats are found in: Almonds, flax seed, oils, salad dressing, mayonnaise


  • Eat breakfast every morning! It’s ok to eat non breakfast food (leftover pizza, leftover Chinese food with rice, cheese and crackers) or more traditional foods (fruit smoothie, banana dipped in peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, frozen waffles with fruit)
  • 3-4 hours before you workout choose foods with lots of carbohydrates like rice, pasta, yogurt, fruits, crackers, breads or muffins
  • Within 30 minutes of finishing practice eat something!
  • When you’re out and about choose: single burgers instead of “monster burgers”, Sandwiches with turkey, chicken or roast beef instead of tuna salad or chicken salad, and pile on the veggies!
  • Grilled meat or fish
  • Pasta with red sauce
  • Waffles, pancakes, grits, scrambled eggs or grilled ham instead of bacon, sausage or biscuits
  • Pizza with thick crust, vegetables, and Canadian bacon instead of pepperoni, sausage or “meat lovers”

The Plate Method

  • On your first plate of food divide plate in half, fill half with fruits and veggies (essential!!!) and divide the other half equally between carbs and protein
  • If you are trying to manage weight stop at one plate
  • If you are trying to gain weight the second plate is up to you

Things to Remember With Supplements!

  • Natural does not equal “safe”, when looking at labels choose only products that have “nutrition information” instead of “supplement information”
  • Good choices for protein supplements are “Beneprotein” which can only be bought online or regular dry milk powder that can be purchased at any grocery store

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