Nutrition and Hydration

Ideal Nutrition
The athlete should attempt to move in the direction of this ideal while keeping in mind any special needs he has such as food allergies or schedule constraints.
Start with a small change and try to add something new each week.
Frequency
The best case for digestion and muscle development is to eat six meals a day.  This translates into a meal every 2-3 hours.
Meals
Each meal should include  
  • lots of complex carbohydrates (the less processed the better)
  • fruit or vegetables (fresh or frozen)
  • protein (chicken, lean meat, or fish is preferred)
  • fat (the less saturated1 the better)
1. Fats that are saturated tend to be solid at room temperature (like butter and bacon fat).  Prefer fats like oils that are liquid at room temperature.
Liquids
We recommend three liquids:  water, water, and water.  The colder the better.
Try to drink extra water any day we have a practice or game.   It is especially important to drink 16 oz of ice-cold water on the way to the game or practice.
If possible, stop drinking sodas all together.  Sports drinks should be limited to after heavy exercise.  caffiene will dehydrate.  Avoid cokes, coffee, and tea.
 
Be aware of the risks of heat exhaustion and heat stroke
Pre-exercise
Avoid eating right before heavy exercise.  The closer you are the more digestible the food needs to be.  One hour before should be fruits only.  Two hours before you should be able to tolerate some complex carbs.  Three hours or more you should be able to eat a normal meal.  Do be aware that everyone is different and you'll have to find your own tolerance for eating before exercise.  
Post-exercise
Its important to eat after heavy exercise (practice or game).  The stomach may not be able to handle a lot of food, so try to eat something small right after exercise and then a larger meal within an hour.
Vitamins
Take a multi-vitamin (prefer natural to synthetic) and a fish oil supplement.  If overweight, have D3 checked, and supplement as needed.
Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Some athletes may want to lose a little weight or gain some.  The key to healthy weight change is to not go too fast.  If the athlete is losing more than 1 pound per week, he is likely losing muscle or is dehydrating.  If the athlete is gaining more than 1 pound per week, he is likely gaining fat.
Sleep
Your body will not burn fat properly if you do not get enough rest.  
Get 8-10 hours of sleep per day.  Go to bed as close to 10 pm as possible.


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Scott Diesing,
Jul 30, 2010, 4:04 PM
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Scott Diesing,
Jul 30, 2010, 4:04 PM
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