Nutrition and Hydration Package
The planning and timing of meals is essential for an athlete to maximize their performance, increase recovery time and accelerate muscle growth. Schedules can become busy and too often meals are nutritionally neglected and even forgotten. With a young athlete having a high amount of stress on their body this is a mistake that can become very costly not only to their immediate performance, but to their long-term health.
The athletes must choose more vegetables, whole grain and nutrient-rich foods to fill their diets. Processed foods and breads, pop, fast food meals and junk foods must be eliminated to experience a body full of energy. And changing the habit of eating 3 large meals must be addressed. Instead, an athlete should eat approximately 6 smaller meals per day always starting with an important nutritional breakfast.
Pre-Game Fuelling Guidelines
Players should be consuming a high-carbohydrate intake everyday to maintain muscle energy stores. It must be understood that one good meal before a competition, practice or training session does not make up for a week of poor eating.
The meals’ food energy should contain 50% carbohydrate calories, 30% protein and 20% fat calories.
|Hours before event||Meal Type|
|3-5 hours||Large Meal|
|2-3 hours||Small Meal|
Depending on the athlete (size, age, metabolism) the specific number of calories for each meal would differ greatly. Each individual considers certain sized meals more or less filling depending on their differences, so some experimenting may be in order.
During Exercise Snacks
Eat in small amounts and low in fat and protein. For example, fruit, granola bars or low fat whole grain crackers.
Eat food high in complex carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes after exercise. A large meal example would be suitable.
- Drink 500ml of fluids the night prior to event
- Drink another 500ml upon waking
- Sip fluids for the remainder of the day, up to event
- For every 45 minutes of activity drink 300-500ml of fluids
- Fluctuate amounts based on:
- Environmental conditions
- Sweat rates
- Gastric tolerance
- Hydrate within the confines and rules of the sport
- Drink 500ml of fluids for every 1 pound lost during competition
- Events/Exercise lasting longer than 1 hour, re-hydrate with a diluted sports drink or juice mixture
- Drink to quench thirst, then drink more
- Do not allow participation in repeat events if weight loss is greater than 2% of body weight
- Chart pre-event and post-event weights of athletes as a check rein/safety measure
- Water is the MOST neglected nutrient in the athletic diet
- 2% weight loss (2 1/2 lbs. In a 120lbs athlete) can impair performance by up to 20%
- 120lbs athlete can easily lose 2 1/2 lbs in an intense event
- Fluids with more than 7% carbohydrate content exacerbate Dehydration
- Too much water, too quickly can further flush out valuable electrolytes, causing nausea and cramping
- Once dehydrated, it takes DAYS to re-hydrate
- Even mild dehydration limits carbohydrate absorption and therefore energy replacement
- Cold fluids are better absorbed than lukewarm fluids
- Caffeine (pop) and alcohol increase dehydration