Tag Archives: breakfast

6 Simple Nutrition Rules for Athletes

16 Aug

Many pro athletes have nutritionists and meal planners who help them eat for optimum performance. The rest of us? We have to fend for ourselves. And while you could spend dozens of hours combing through nutrition books and journals in search of an eating plan that gives you an edge, you probably don’t have that kind of time to spare. Good news: You can upgrade your game instantly by following these six tried-and-true nutrition rules:

1. Aim for Balance

Each of your meals should provide a combination of carbs from whole grains, vegetables or fruits; proteins such as lean meats, peanut butter, or dairy; and healthy fats from foods like olive oil, nuts, or salmon.

2. Eat Breakfast

Your mom was right when she said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A proper morning nosh awakens your metabolism; improves your focus, memory, and mood; and boosts your energy levels all day long.

3. Eat More Frequently

Though you probably grew up on a three-meals-a-day diet, recent research indicates that athletes perform better by eating five or even six smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Try to consume an equal number of calories in each meal or snack, and space your eating sessions about three to four hours apart.

4. Eat Before Your Workout

Your car doesn’t run without fuel, and the same is true of your body. Training on an empty stomach — whether in a workout, practice, or a game — is like trying to drive with the tank on “E”… you’re bound to stall. A pre-workout meal provides your body with a readily available source of energy. For best results, consume a lean protein and slow-burning carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, or oatmeal about an hour or so before training begins.

5. Stay Hydrated

You want to drink enough water to replace what you lose through sweat, but remember that hydration is an ongoing process. Make sure your fluid intake is adequate at all times — beforeduring, and after activity.

6. Refuel After Your Workout

Exercise depletes your body of energy and can damage muscle tissue, so it’s important to replenish your glycogen stores (the body’s main source of fuel) and supply some protein for muscle repair within about an hour of working out. Studies indicate that taking in a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein can help you accomplish both goals. Aim for 15 to 30 grams of protein and 30 to 90 grams of carbs after your workout.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Should You Skip Breakfast?

28 Nov

470_2677148[1]In the interest of balance, I thought I would share a recent article from Healthy Living titled, 5 Reasons to Skip Breakfast.  Obviously, I’ve extolled the virtues of breakfast in this blog — as well as in my personal and professional life — repeatedly.

This is the type of conflicting information that can make it confusing for people to make sound, educated choices regarding diet and nutrition.  Clearly, this article is more of an editorial than evidence-based research.

The article also lacks balance, as it only addresses a high-carb breakfast, and not the benefits of incorporating lean protein into your morning meal or snack.  There is a voluminous (and growing) body of research that supports eating something — anything — within 90 minutes of waking, especially for athletes.

A balanced, nutritious breakfast — along with smaller, more frequent meals and snacks throughout the day — can improve energy level and cognition, and help you reach your fitness, weight-loss, and/or performance goals.

Please see related article, Eat Breakfast!

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

The Worst Breakfast is No Breakfast

5 Oct

Breakfast[1]I always enjoy traveling to different schools and organizations to discuss Strength & Conditioning, Speed & Agility, and Nutrition.  Invariably, when discussing nutrition, we touch upon the importance of breakfast.  When I tell the audience that any breakfast is better than no breakfast, I usually get a few sarcastic responses like, “what about donuts?” or some other sweets or junk food.  Although I differentiate between a healthy, nutritious breakfast and a less sensible option, the point is this:  Eat something — anything — within 30-90 minutes of waking.  It will set the tone for the rest of your day.  It’s not that the quality of what you eat is unimportant, but the benefits of eating breakfast are indisputable:

  • Improves physical and mental health
  • Improves behavior and performance
  • Kick-starts your metabolism
  • Improves your mood
  • Boosts your energy level
  • Helps to minimize daytime hunger

Like any other meal or snack, the key is to aim for balance: clean carbohydrates (whole grains, high-fiber), lean protein, and healthy (unsaturated) fats.  Protein for breakfast is a must.  Eating a protein-rich breakfast can energize you, reduce food cravings, and prevent overeating later, according to research from the University of Missouri.

Don’t get hung up on eating “breakfast” food for breakfast… eat whatever you want.  Just keep it sensible, nutritious, and balanced.  Leftovers from last night’s dinner?  Eat ’em.

Get STRONGER Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals and Snacks

13 Jul

healthy_snacks[2]Forget about eating three square meals a day (most of us don’t do it the right way, anyway — little or no breakfast, small lunch, enormous dinner, and unhealthy snacks throughout the day).  Eating smaller, more frequent meals and snacks has been shown to help control appetiteimprove mood and concentration, boost metabolism, and maintain muscle mass.  Aim to eat every three hours for a steady supply of energy throughout the day.

Eating breakfast every day is a must.  It kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day.  Additionally, a little advance planning and preparation can help you manage eating more frequently during the day.  Think through your week when you do your Saturday or Sunday grocery shopping.  Take time, the night before, to prepare for the following day.

When it comes to snacking, think portability (and, of course, healthy).  Nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc.); trail mix (homemade is best); string cheese; fruits and veggies (I like apples and carrots, with peanut butter); Greek yogurt; green tea; protein shakes; and beef jerky are healthy, portable snacks that can help you stay satisfied.

Think of nutrition as providing fuel to your body.  Small, frequent meals shouldn’t exceed your calorie needs, but should help you stay full and provide you with the energy you need to function effectively throughout the day.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

5 Tips to Boost Your Metabolism

28 Mar

5-Tips-To-Boost-Your-Metabolism_1024x1024[1]Here’s a nice article from our friends and colleagues at ASD Performance.

  1. ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST

Eat a good breakfast. Every. Single. Day. If you don’t, your body goes into starvation mode which in turn causes your metabolism to slow in order to conserve energy. And the heartier your first meal is, the better. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that volunteers who reported regularly skipping breakfast had 4.5 times the risk of obesity as those who took the time to eat.

      2. DRINK COFFEE:

A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee increased 16 percent over that of those who drank decaf.

  1. RELAX:

Research is now showing that high levels of stress in in fact contributing to to weight gain. When you are stressed, your body will increase your stress hormone cortisol, which stimulates fat cells to increase in size and encourage fat storage. Stress hormones can also spike your appetite, making you likely to overeat or stress eat.

     4. PICK UP THE PROTEIN:

Cramming protein into every meal helps to build and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, even at rest. Aim for about 30 grams of protein — the equivalent of about one cup of low-fat cottage cheese or a four-ounce boneless chicken breast — at each meal.

  1. CHOOSE ORGANIC PRODUCE:

Researchers in Canada found that dieters with the most organochlorides (chemicals found in pesticides) stored in their fat cells were the most susceptible to disruptions in mitochondrial activity and thyroid function. Translation: Their metabolism stalled.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

6 Simple Nutrition Rules for Athletes

28 Mar

basketbal-fruit[1]Many pro athletes have nutritionists and meal planners who help them eat for optimum performance. The rest of us? We have to fend for ourselves. And while you could spend dozens of hours combing through nutrition books and journals in search of an eating plan that gives you an edge, you probably don’t have that kind of time to spare. Good news: You can upgrade your game instantly by following these six tried-and-true nutrition rules:

1. Aim for Balance

Each of your meals should provide a combination of carbs from whole grains, vegetables or fruits; proteins such as lean meats, peanut butter, or dairy; and healthy fats from foods like olive oil, nuts, or salmon.

2. Eat Breakfast

Your mom was right when she said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A proper morning nosh awakens your metabolism; improves your focus, memory, and mood; and boosts your energy levels all day long.

3. Eat More Frequently

Though you probably grew up on a three-meals-a-day diet, recent research indicates that athletes perform better by eating five or even six smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Try to consume an equal number of calories in each meal or snack, and space your eating sessions about three to four hours apart.

4. Eat Before Your Workout

Your car doesn’t run without fuel, and the same is true of your body. Training on an empty stomach — whether in a workout, practice, or a game — is like trying to drive with the tank on “E”… you’re bound to stall. A pre-workout meal provides your body with a readily available source of energy. For best results, consume a lean protein and slow-burning carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, or oatmeal about an hour or so before training begins.

5. Stay Hydrated

You want to drink enough water to replace what you lose through sweat, but remember that hydration is an ongoing process. Make sure your fluid intake is adequate at all times — before, during, and after activity.

6. Refuel After Your Workout

Exercise depletes your body of energy and can damage muscle tissue, so it’s important to replenish your glycogen stores (the body’s main source of fuel) and supply some protein for muscle repair within about an hour of working out. Studies indicate that taking in a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein can help you accomplish both goals. Aim for 15 to 30 grams of protein and 30 to 90 grams of carbs after your workout.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Should You Skip Breakfast?

26 Aug

470_2677148[1]In the interest of balance, I thought I would share a recent article from Healthy Living titled, 5 Reasons to Skip Breakfast.  Obviously, I’ve extolled the virtues of breakfast in this blog — as well as in my personal and professional life — repeatedly.

This is the type of conflicting information that can make it confusing for people to make sound, educated choices regarding diet and nutrition.  Clearly, this article is more of an editorial than evidence-based research.

The article also lacks balance, as it only addresses a high-carb breakfast, and not the benefits of incorporating lean protein into your morning meal or snack.  There is a voluminous (and growing) body of research that supports eating something — anything — within 90 minutes of waking, especially for athletes.

A balanced, nutritious breakfast — along with smaller, more frequent meals and snacks throughout the day — can improve energy level and cognition, and help you reach your fitness, weight-loss, and/or performance goals.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

The Worst Breakfast is No Breakfast

19 Jul

Breakfast[1]I always enjoy traveling to different schools and organizations to discuss Strength & Conditioning, Speed & Agility, and Nutrition.  Invariably, when discussing nutrition, we touch upon the importance of breakfast.  When I tell the audience that any breakfast is better than no breakfast, I usually get a few sarcastic responses like, “what about donuts,” or some other sweets or junk food.  Although I differentiate between a healthy, nutritious breakfast and a less sensible option, the point is this:  Eat something — anything — within 30-90 minutes of waking.  It will set the tone for the rest of your day.  It’s not that the quality of what you eat is unimportant, but the benefits of eating breakfast are indisputable:

  • Improves physical and mental health
  • Improves behavior and performance
  • Kick-starts your metabolism
  • Improves your mood
  • Boosts your energy level
  • Helps to minimize daytime hunger

Like any other meal or snack, the key is to aim for balance: clean carbohydrates (whole grains, high-fiber), lean protein, and healthy (unsaturated) fats.  Protein for breakfast is a must.  Eating a protein-rich breakfast can energize you, reduce food cravings, and prevent overeating later, according to research from the University of Missouri.

Don’t get hung up on eating “breakfast” food for breakfast… eat whatever you want.  Just keep it sensible, nutritious, and balanced.  Leftovers from last night’s dinner?  Eat ’em.

Get STRONGER Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals and Snacks

24 May

healthy_snacks[2]Forget about eating three square meals a day (most of us don’t do it the right way, anyway — little or no breakfast, small lunch, enormous dinner, and unhealthy snacks throughout the day).  Eating smaller, more frequent meals and snacks has been shown to help control appetite, improve mood and concentration, boost metabolism, and maintain muscle mass.  Aim to eat every three hours for a steady supply of energy throughout the day.

Eating breakfast every day is a must.  It kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day.  Additionally, a little advance planning and preparation can help you manage eating more frequently during the day.  Think through your week when you do your Saturday or Sunday grocery shopping.  Take time, the night before, to prepare for the following day.

When it comes to snacking, think portability (and, of course, healthy).  Nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc.); trail mix (homemade is best); string cheese; fruits and veggies (I like apples and carrots, with peanut butter); Greek yogurt; green tea; protein shakes; and beef jerky are healthy, portable snacks that can help you stay satisfied.

Think of nutrition as providing fuel to your body.  Small, frequent meals shouldn’t exceed your calorie needs, but should help you stay full and provide you with the energy you need to function effectively throughout the day.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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