Here is some information I have put together about general nutrition information. Take a look and let me know what you think.
Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It also helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you’re not properly hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level. You may experience fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, or more serious symptoms.
A simple way to make sure you’re staying properly hydrated is to check your urine. If your urine is consistently colorless or light yellow, you are most likely staying well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-colored urine is a sign of dehydration.
How much water should I drink while exercising?
There are no exact rules for how much water to drink while exercising because everyone is different. You need to consider factors including your sweat rate, the heat and humidity in your environment, and how long and hard you are exercising.
The American Council on Exercise has suggested the following basic guidelines for drinking water before, during, and after exercise:
Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water (two glass fulls) 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising
Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during warm-up. We take care of this after we have warmed up.
Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise. Our drills last no longer than 20 minutes, but players may get water at any time during training.
Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise. A good way to measure water lost, is to weigh one self before, and after training. (16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound of body weight lost).
What about sports drinks?
For most people, water is all that is needed to stay hydrated. However, if you will be exercising at a high intensity for longer than an hour, a sports drink may be helpful. The calories, potassium, and other nutrients in sports drinks can provide energy and electrolytes to help you perform for a longer period of time. Watered down Gatorade makes for the best sports drink, and gets you more bang for your buck.
Choose a sports drink wisely. They are often high in calories from added sugar and may contain high levels of sodium. Also, check the serving size. One bottle may contain several servings. If you drink the entire bottle, you may need to double or triple the amounts given on the Nutrition Facts Label. Some sports drinks contain caffeine. If you use a sports drink that contains caffeine, be careful not to get too much caffeine in your diet.
Depending on the day’s activity, an intense match or light training, players need to replace anywhere between 20 and 27 calories per pound of body weight (45-60 calories per kilogram). For a 160-pound (72.5 kg) college male, that equals 3,200-4,300 calories per day. For a 110-pound youth female (50 kg), 2,200-2,900 calories per day are needed.
However, simply eating enough calories is not enough. Players should understand that it’s the quality of the diet that holds the key to improved performance on the pitch. There needs to be a balance between the macro nutrients in the diet – carbohydrates, fats and protein. As a general rule, the total calories consumed each day should come from carbohydrates (60-70 percent), fats (20-25 percent) and proteins (10 percent).
Based on the number of calories needed each day, players should eat about 4 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight per day (9 g/kg). Carbohydrates are clearly the major component of a solid diet. It’s important to understand that not all carbohydrates are the same. Carbohydrates are often classified as simple sugars or complex carbohydrates. Glucose, fructose and sucrose (table sugar) are simple sugars that are found in foods like candies, pastries and sodas. They can also be found in many fruits and milk. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are long chains of simple sugars and are often called starches. They are found in grains, pastas, rice, breads, potatoes and vegetables.
The focus should be on complex carbohydrates. There are several advantages to eating complex carbohydrates rather than simple sugars. Complex carbohydrates generally take longer to digest and don’t dramatically affect blood sugar. Nor do they cause the so called “sugar rush/sugar crash” like simple sugars may do. Foods that contain complex carbohydrates also contain other important nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber. Therein lies a key benefit, more complete nutrition. Cakes, cookies and candy don’t offer much in the way of nutritional support. However, fresh fruits, which may contain simple sugars, also have plenty of vitamins and fiber. Thus, players should focus on complex carbohydrates as their main source of carbohydrates and add in fresh fruits and milk as well.
There is also quite a bit of debate over how much protein and player needs. Each day, players need about 0.6-0.8 g of protein per pound of body weight (1.5-1.8 g/kg). For a 160-pound player, that’s equal to about 100 to 130g per day, 66-88 g for a 110-pound player. That level of protein intake can easily be achieved through a solid diet that contains meats and vegetables. For example, a 6 oz. grilled chicken breast contains more than 50g of protein. An 8 oz. glass of low fat milk contains an additional 8g. Those items alone provide 50-75 percent of the daily protein requirements. If the player is eating a solid diet with lean meats, milk and vegetables, additional protein supplements are generally not needed. Most research shows that the protein supplements do little more than provide added calories. Also, the type of proteins and amino acids contained in supplements are no more or no less effective than food sources. Muscle Milk is the protein powder that I use and recommend, you can find it at most stores like CVS or Rite Aid, it tastes OK and is approved by the NCAA so there should be no banned substances. There was a finding that the chocolate and vanilla cream products were not good for you, as they found it had the worst consistency of ingredients, but nothing about the other flavors.
Players do need some fat in the diet and diets with less than 20 percent fat do not appreciably improve performance. However, fats should be limited wherever possible. In particular, avoid fried foods whether they are meats or vegetables. Also avoid creamy sauces and dressings and limit condiments like mayonnaise and butter. Replacing high fat items with low-fat is another good idea. For example, drink low-fat milk rather than whole and opt for lean meats like turkey and chicken rather than high-fat, processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs.
Thinking About The Diet
Encourage your players to think about what they eat. Counting calories and grams of carbohydrates can be a difficult and frustrating task. An easier approach is to help players understand the quality of what they eat. They should know the difference between a meal including baked chicken and a baked potato and one with chicken nuggets and fries. Also, fatty meats should be replaced with turkey, chicken or lean beef. They should realize that fresh fruits and vegetables are solid choices that contain carbohydrates, proteins as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber. Whereas simple and processed sugars found in cakes, candies and sodas offer little nutritional value. It’s also a good idea to encourage them to do a bit of investigating. They might be surprised to find that their turkey and bacon sandwich made with white bread and slathered with mayonnaise has a remarkably high fat content.
By taking a qualitative approach and thinking about the types of foods selected, players can develop their own solid diet that meets the nutritional requirements listed above. By doing this, they can ensure themselves of peak performance on the field.