Monday, November 4, 2013

Swimmers guide to better eating

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this post, as it is on one of my favorite subjects, nutrition; and may just be the longest post I've written so far!  All this information may seem overwhelming, but remember to ease yourself into the world of nutrition. This information will always be here, so no need to memorize every exact detail. I didn't learn this stuff over night, and even now I still don't know everything!. Apply one of the things you learned everyday, until it becomes habit, and continue learning and gradually adding in healthy habits to your daily schedule.
Pasted below are various websites, Team USA, SCAN, and the Australian institute of sport. The links provided are very informative and easy to understand, I checked each one and thoroughly read through them. Knowledge is power people! And then again, so is applying your knowledge to everyday life.

check out the United States Olympic Committee’s sports nutrition resources at http://www.teamusa.org/About-the-USOC/Athlete-Development/Sport-Performance/Nutrition. You will find many resources here including videos, recipes, and athlete eating guidelines. I especially like the athlete’s plates – a quick visual on what to eat on easy, moderate or hard days of training.

SCAN has free sports nutrition fact sheets on a wide range of topics at http://www.scandpg.org/sports-nutrition/sports-nutrition-fact-sheets/ and mom and dad may also want to look at the handouts on the cardiovascular and wellness sites of SCAN.

The Australian Institute of Sport has been a leader in sports nutrition for Australian athletes. You don’t have to go down under to take advantage of their expertise; just go to http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition to see the many free resources to help you with a healthy eating plan and to learn more about good nutrition.

The links below are hand  selected from teamusa.org:

Never underestimate the most important meal of the day, breakfast.
http://www.teamusa.org/~/media/TeamUSA/sport%20performance/pdf%20handouts/Breakfast.pdf

General eating guidelines for those hard/easy/moderate training days
http://www.teamusa.org/~/media/TeamUSA/Nutrition/Athlete%20Plates%20Hard%20Day%20Handout.pdf

Hydration is EXTREMELY important, as your body is made up of more than 60% water.
http://www.teamusa.org/~/media/TeamUSA/sport%20performance/pdf%20handouts/Hydration_2011.pdf

For the Vegetarian athlete:)
http://www.teamusa.org/~/media/TeamUSA/sport%20performance/pdf%20handouts/The_Vegetarian_Athlete.pdf

Athlete eating guidelines found on teamusa.org:
- Stay hydrated. Your body is more than 60% water and your muscles depend on water to function properly. A dehydrated body cannot train or compete at its peak. Drink enough so that your urine looks like pale lemonade or apple juice and so that you are urinating frequently throughout the day.

- Fuel up before training. Focus on eating lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and whole grains to ensure that your body is prepared for training. Try not to go into a training session with an empty fuel tank. Eat a meal 3-4 hours or a snack 1-2 hours before exercise.

- Boost your immune system. Choose foods that are high in antioxi- dants such as fruits and vegetables to help keep your immune system healthy and reduce the amount of free radicals that your body builds up during high intensity training. Choose more colorful fruits and vegeta- bles such as blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, oranges, broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes.

- Limit fats. Saturated and trans fats can cause inflammation which is the exact opposite of what elite athletes need. Stay away from foods that are processed or fried, and higher fat meats like chicken wings, bologna and pastrami. Choose non-inflammatory unsaturated fats such as olives, avocados, nuts, seeds, and salmon.

- Eat to recover. Choose carbohydrate rich foods with some protein within 30-60 minutes of finishing a training session to help your body recover faster. Good choices after workouts include: peanut better sandwich (half or whole), carton of chocolate milk, or a bowl of cereal with milk or yogurt.

-Sport products. Sports bars, gels and drinks do have their place in an elite athlete’s eating program. Be sure to not over-use these types of products, however, as they can deter body weight goals and can replace more beneficial calories from whole foods. Use sports products before, during or immediately after practice depending on your sport needs and goals.

to get to the links, copy and paste if it doesn't show up properly :) I know I said I would write about distance events and pacing, but I've decided to devote that to the next post. I cannot explain to you how important nutrition and a well balanced diet is, it could help you break some records and feel your best, or drag your career to the ground. Nutrition is a science, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand it. Eat well, live better. Let food be thy medicine, and take your vitamins. The only supplements I take are whey protein, and coffee. Coffee can dehydrate you, so for every one cup coffee, I drink two cups water, and I try to drink over a gallon of water a day.
If you have any topic suggestions, or feedback from my previous posts, please email me at h2obutterfly100@gmail.com :)