NUTRITION FOR PERFORMANCE & HEALTH
Being a part of the Braswell Bengal team requires discipline in the classroom, on the field, in the weight room, and the foods you put on your plate. To excel as a student athlete it is essential that you properly fuel your mind and body. This will not happen with a magical powder or pill, but rather with a consistent balanced approach including the amount of food, the quality of these foods, and the timing of your intake. Properly fueling your body will help you perform optimally in the classroom, weight room, and on the field. The following are guidelines to help you achieve peak performance and optimize your short-and long-term health. This includes strategies for losing excess fat weight, or adding lean muscle weight, meal planning and snack selection, as well as timing of intake.
The calories or energy we get, come from food. Food components that supply energy include carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates and protein both have 4 calories per gram, fat contains 9 calories per gram. Water and other nutrients called micro-nutrients which include vitamins and mineral, contain no calories, however, are essential for the body to function normally. One of the keys of good nutrition for sports performance and health is to focus on nutrients density. Nutrient density refers to the amount of nutrients you are getting per the amount of food you are eating. For example, a glass of 100 percent orange juice would be more nutrient dense than a glass of soda. Below is a summary of the key nutrients, including their calorie (energy) level, food sources, functions and recommended amounts.
- Simple: sugar, sweets, candy
- Complex: Cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, breads, fruits, veggies
Functions: Stored as glycogen in muscle and liver and is an important fuel during exercise. Storage is limited so needs to be emphasized in diet.
Best fuel for moderate & high intensity exercise. Primary fuel source in the brain. Important for recovery & to help with muscle building. Complex carbohydrates contain many essential vitamins, and minerals.
Amount: 50-60% of total calories. – 3 grams / pound body weight. 200 pounds x 3 = 600 grams of carbohydrate
- Unsaturated fat (liquid at room temp) “healthy fats”: Vegetable oils i.e. canola & olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish oil
- Saturated fat (solid at room temp.) “unhealthy fats”: Butter, lard, full fat dairy products, coconut oil
Function: Is the primary fuel we burn at rest & during low –moderate intensity exercise. Liquid fats contain essential nutrients that aid in the health of all cells, reduces inflammation and the viscosity/thickness of our blood
Amounts: 20-35% of total calories (emphasize healthy fats)
- Lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, low fat dairy, soy, beans/legumes, nuts, seeds
Functions: Muscles and hormones are made of protein. Each protein is made of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks for protein synthesis/muscle building & repair
Note: if you are not eating enough calories of carbohydrates, protein will be used for energy and limit your ability to make new muscle.
Amounts: 15-25% total calories 0.6-0.8 grams # body weight
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