Here are some great ideas from the session on nutrition!
Jackie Berning Ph.D.
Central States Clinic 2013
It doesn’t matter what the sport is, there are always challenges with nutrition. Athletes are busy, they don't know what to buy or how to cook and so they often choose poorly.
Take-home message: **Athletes should eat smaller, frequent meals throughout day vs. back-loading calories in one large meal at night.**
Berning summarized a
When calories are low throughout the day the body thinks it is starving and therefore burns lean muscle mass. Then if eat a huge meal late at night about 50% of those calories will be stored as fat. It is better to eat well throughout the day and do it consistently even on holidays.
Most people think you are burning fat when eating low # of calories. Incorrect!
Take the calories your body needs and break into smaller meals. I am NOT telling you to add a snack but instead divide up your required calories into smaller meals. Don’t add a snack/calories to create an additional time to eat.
Liquid form: water, sports drinks
Your brain needs blood glucose up (CHO)
½ banana and toast
Gels 15 minutes before event, if have earlier you will rise and dropoff before needed
Avoid energy drinks (red bulls/monster) etc. You may as well drink a bottle of pancake syrup.
- Orange juice is a little high in CHO %; have at breakfast but not just before get in water. If you have too much sugar in your gut it draws out water. Once exercise starts CHO helps delay the start of exercise induced response.
- Instant breakfast is OK, liquid will digest quicker. CHO digests first in your gut, especially in liquid form.
Oatmeal or cereal with skim milk
½ bagel or toast
6 oz yogurt and fruit
Pasta w meat sauce, bread sticks, lofat milk
French toast, low fat milk, fruit
*a mini meal, but want stomach to empty before get in the pool, based on timing and volume of food putting in. More food put in, the more time it takes to digest.
*while waiting to get picked up have a sandwich/veg/fruit it should resemble a meal vs. single food concepts.
Longer events need 30-60g/hour and that will extend performance. Consume 6-12 oz sports drinks with 6-8% CHO every 15-30 minutes extends exercise time.
- More fruit/veggies with antioxidants can help prevent damage: dark leafy greens, spinach, kale, celery, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, pears. Blueberries/strawberries/raspberries have a plant nutrient in them that is really powerful and decreases neuromuscular injury and helps strengthen immune system so not sick as often.
- *Buy frozen! Especially when fresh fruit is hard to find or really expensive. You won’t lose nutrients in frozen.
They are more likely to use stimulants to stay away and then can’t sleep at night.
*The body repairs damage when it’s sleeping. Sleep allows nutrients to come out of store and do their repair. You need 7-8 hours/sleep at night for max repair. The biggest part of repair is neuromuscular (how nerves communicate). Sleep needs to be regular and consistent. During deep REM sleep nutrients do repair work.
*A nap is good for mental recovery, but not longer than an hour or else it will interfere with your sleep at night.
*If sleep longer than 8 hours or less than 7 hours you are more likely to gain weight.
Teens need 10+ hours of sleep, 6-8 year olds need 10-12 hours of sleep.
- 40% of AG swimmers think fries are a great source of carbs because it started out as a potato.
- 40% chose oatmeal as a good source of protein (vs. chicken).
- Only 45% can identify foods from within a food group.
- 30% of teen athletes skip breakfast – THIS is a huge problem.
- 25% skip lunch, forget it or have no time.
- 82% of athletes can’t identify the fuel that muscles use to contract (CHO=Carbs). Most athletes think it’s protein their muscles need.
- Athletes need more CHO and fluid. Extra calories should be in form of CHO.
- Timing of meals is important and dependent on GI issues and workout intensity. Athletes with heavy training need to eat more than three meals a day.
*If dehydrated fatigue will set in early.
*20-25 grams of protein (~3 oz of chicken/deck of cards size) after each training session will maximize protein synthesis. Co-ingest small amount of protein will CHO (replaces glycogen store) as soon as possible, this accelerates protein synthesis.
20-25 g protein: 2 tbps peanut butter, 1 C greek yogurt
Fluids: 3 C fluid for each pound lost during exercise
Consume 20-25 gram protein enough to stimulate protein synthesis, higher amounts do NOT bring an increase in protein synthesis – all extra gets oxidized off and peed out. DO NOT use the huge protein shakes! Instead consume protein 5-6x during the day to maximize protein synthesis. **Chronic protein consumption in excess could actually turn off the pathways to make new muscle/protein synthesis.
- Need the 9 essential branched chain amino acids found mostly in animal products or soy. They get absorbed fast but help turn on pathway for protein synthesis.
- Chocolate milk is good, has animal protein and good %.
Not all swimmers need recovery nutrition. For example, if taking a day off your body will get back with regular eating. Do recovery nutrition mostly in competition season/phase.