Nutrition - Central States Swim Clinic 2013

I adore the Central States Swim Clinic. I went last year for the first time and LOVED it so attending this year was an easy decision.

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 Georgia State study on the effects of skipping meals within 24 hours. The study looked at two groups over 12 weeks and measured their energy balance. The control group didn’t eat breakfast and then ate a huge meal at a training table like format late at night, so they backloaded a ton of calories at the end of the day. The second group ate small meals spread throughout the day. Both groups ended at same energy balance level after 12 weeks, BUT the group who backloaded calories had more fat than the other group even though they weighed the same amount. This means the backloaded calorie group lost muscle weight.
            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.

-          Eating before exercise vs. exercising in a fasted state has been proven to improve performance. You want fuel to be: high in carbs, low in fiber/fat, moderate in protein, familiar to the athlete (nothing new). Something needs to come in to break the fast during sleep, liquid is fine.

Example fuel:
1 hour or less before meets/workouts:
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.

2 hours before:
Sports drinks
Oatmeal or cereal with skim milk
½ bagel or toast
6 oz yogurt and fruit

3-4 hours before:
Sports drink
Turkey sandwich, with lo-fat cheese, yogurt, fruit, granola,
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.

During exercise:
CHO found in sports drinks (6-8%) is recommended for events 1 hour or less especially for athletes who: exercise after an overnight fast, skip pre-exercise meal, don’t eat enough CHO, train in heat/cold, participate in intense training, 2/day+ practices.
            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.

HS Swimmer example: skips breakfast, early lunch, may snack before workout, gets tired within 30 minutes of starting practice.
Minor league baseball example: normally eat one meal a day on the bus, have $20 food allowance and normally order 2 pizzas when get to hotel, cram food in and then go into sleep coma and sleep through the free breakfast provided at the hotel. This leads to low glycogen and fatigue, best to have some fluids with CHO or foods available, eat energy bars, sports drinks in between.

Foods for healing/ and reducing inflammation:
What you eat can help reduce your chance of getting diabetes, cancer, heart disease and more. A poor diet plus increase in physical demand leads to oxidative stress/tissue damage and impairs immune system.
-          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.

Night owls have a difficult time dealing with the demands of being a student athlete.
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.

AG Swimmers:
-          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.

88% of athletes have heard about recovery nutrition but only 33% know about putting food in within the 1-hour window of recovery.
*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.

150-pound athlete example:
54 grams CHO: bagel, smoothies, recovery shake
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.

Example: HS soccer team spending tons of time on the road at away games
-          Parents organized snacks on bus for team: spent less time on the road eating junk, team recovered faster, not as hungry coming home or as grouchy, could push harder the next day. Examples: recovery beverage, yogurt smoothies, cheese/crackers, granola, PB sandwich, subs, burritos, trail mix, chocolate milk, fresh fruit, apples, bananas, grapes, yogurt.

Energy drinks:
Body needs and can handle 6-8% CHO (Gatorade is great). Energy drinks like red bull or monster are like 22+% and often come with some type of caffeine and/or ginseng. It’s not formulated for athletes or tested in a lab. It elevates resting heart rate and is dangerous.

*Make better food choices and time them well.

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