Nutritional Informaiton

Importance of Breakfast & Hydration for Athletes

Do you want to perform at your best every game? Would you like to run for longer, burn more fat, build defined muscle and have more energy?

So, what exactly should we be eating in order to maximize our energy levels and performance?

The best fuel for the job are carbohydrates (should be 70% of meal), as they are digested quicker through the stomach, releasing energy more efficiently than fats or proteins.

Now, let's talk briefly about the type of foods you are eating. Think of your body as the best sports car in the world. What kind of fuel would you use? Would you fill that sports car up on something out of some random oil drum? No, you would give it only the best, right? And your body deserves the same treatment. Remember that you can always buy and replace parts in any sports car. Your body is a different story, you have the "parts" you were given for a lifetime, and how you decide to take care of them now will determine the quality of life you will have now and into the future. Your body deserves the best treatment; it's the only one you have. The cleaner your food, the better your performance will be. Always avoid mucking up your food with heavy greases, oils, dips and junk!

Why eat breakfast?

NOT eating breakfast is damaging to your lean muscles.

Your body is in repair mode all night long, building muscles, bones, tissues, blood cells, etc. So in the morning you need to refuel in order to keep this process going. And before you say, "I'm not a breakfast eater," we will say, "Oh, you eat breakfast. Well, your body does. Because when you choose not to eat, your body will just break down more lean muscle tissue to feed itself." So, you can choose what to eat or your body will choose. What would you rather have? If you're like most athletes you realize how damaging it is to lose muscle. So start the day with a great breakfast.

BREAKFAST:

1) Scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese
Whole grain toast with butter
1 cup yogurt
Milk
WATER

2) Oatmeal (instant is ok)
Whole grain Toast with peanut butter
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 cup strawberries or an pple
Milk
WATER

3) honey wheat bagel with cream cheese
2 scrambled eggs with cheese
Banana
Milk
WATER

4) shake

12oz milk, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup berries, 1 scoop protein powder, ice WATER

Your pre-match meal should be 3-4 hours ahead of "kick-off" so you have enough huff-and-puff to drag yourself around without collapsing, vomiting or both. This is the perfect time to ensure that your body has had the opportunity to claim as much fuel from the meal as possible and to allow your stomach to empty its' contents (in the right direction.) Pregame football meals should consist largely of foods rich in carbohydrates. Protein and fat should be kept to a minimum because these nutrients take longer to convert into energy, which is of the utmost importance for a football player to perform optimally on the gridiron.

Hydration

It is extremely important to hydrate before, during and after a game.

You should start to take on fluids at least 4 hours ahead of a game, taking small sips of water and/or isotonic sports drink every 10-15 mins or so and then throughout the game where possible.

Post-Workout Recovery

If you are skipping this step, you are seriously limiting your athletic potential. In the first hour after your workout, your muscles are really ready to absorb nutrients for repair - they are basically screaming at you to feed them! So, what do you need to eat?

In general, anything with protein and healthy carbs (a turkey sandwich, etc.) Liquids are best at this point (like a protein shake) because they enter the system faster, allowing less time for muscle breakdown.

Look for a protein shake with at least 20-25 grams of protein (look for a quality whey protein that comes from the United States) and 75 grams of carbs -

Student-Athlete Nutritional Do's:

Eat at least three meals and 2 snacks per day
Eat a variety of healthy foods: grains, fruit, veggies, lean protein, dairy Choose at least 3 groups at each meal Nourish before bedtime Drink lots of water

Student-Athlete Nutritional Don'ts:

  • Skip meals, especially breakfast
  • Leave out any food groups
  • Go more than 4 hours without eating
  • Go to bed hungry
  • Forget to drink water
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