Sports Performance Program - Nutrition


Fueling for Competition - Why is it important?:
  • During the competition season it is important to keep a healthy nutrient-dense fueling habit for optimal performance. Valuing vegetables, fruits, quality protein, and whole grains will allow a wide variety of options to help properly maintain or progress the athlete’s performance.
  • What does nutrient-dense mean? It simply means foods with the highest quality ingredients - fresh vegetables and fruits, simple and minimally processed - in order to absorb the most vitamins and minerals in the best way possible. You will feel more energized, reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, and have an overall healthy and happy body.
  • When fueling for competition, the athlete should focus on carbohydrate to protein ratios (to keep it simple).
    • Pre-competition: Carbs should be easily digestible and familiar to the athlete to reduce gastrointestinal distress (ie. oatmeal, wheat toast/bagel). The athlete should eat 60-90 minutes before. Protein intake should be minimal due to the fact that it is not as easily digestible, however, it is important for muscle glycogen. A ratio to consider 3:1.
      • Examples: toast with PB & banana, oats/minimal flavor (low sugar) granola with fruit & yogurt.
  • *Post-competition: After a race it is just as or more important to refuel your body to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle damages. Keeping in mind a carb to protein ratio, the timing of this snack is also important. 30-45 minutes after competition your athlete should eat 1:2 carb to protein. Eating more protein to repair muscles and having carbs to replenish glycogen. This meal/snack should be simple and can be more complex to allow the body to digest and absorb the nutrients it needs slowly.
    • Examples: Yogurt & granola, Protein granola bar, PB & apple/banana,
  • During competition: Ski competitions can last a long time (depending on the section/division) so it is critical to keep your body energized throughout. Simple and easily digestible foods to keep glycogen (muscle energy source) up and avoid protein stores as an energy source. Also important to replenish electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium) lost through sweat.
    • Examples: sports drink (nuun hydration, GU, Skratch, etc), energy gels (Honey Stinger, GU, etc), energy granola bars (Chewy, Clif, Honey Stinger, etc)

The athlete’s body goes through tremendous amounts of work and needs energy to sustain the demands of high performance. Eating whole real foods (instead of highly chemically processed foods) creates an ideal environment for the body to live and thrive. Making each main (breakfast, lunch, dinner) meal well-rounded and colorful hitting all food groups - vegetables, fruits, protein, whole grains, & dairy. (Take a look at www.choosemyplate.gov) Then adding wholesome snacks to fuel body and relieve hunger.

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