3 Quick Tips: Consistency, Energy, Balance

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When it comes to fueling your body, consistency is key. Often times athletes focus more on their training consistency and less on their nutrition consistency.

Yet the energy their body needs will come from the foods and beverages they take in. When food is an after thought, it can take a toll on the body overtime, especially when enough overall energy (calories) are not coming in.

Here are three quick tips to help you dial in your fueling plan:

1: Consistency

When you are routinely training hard, it is a must to fuel the body consistently. A lot of times athletes think more about what they are and are not eating on game or event days, yet the day to day is just as important. If fueling the body is neglected and not part of the focus, you will not get the maximum results out of your training. 

2: Energy

Although, there is a lot of complexity when it comes to the science of sports nutrition and fueling the body, first and foremost you must take in enough energy (calories) to match your training needs and goals. If you are looking to put on muscle but do not have enough overall calories coming in, it will be impossible to get the gains you are looking for. 

If you have no idea how many calories you need per day, work with a sports dietitian to get a custom plan designed to meet your training needs. Visit the SCAN (Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition Group) website to find a dietitian near you.

3: Balance

Fueling the body is all about balance, focus on getting most of your calories from nutrient-rich foods: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, yogurt, milk, whole grains, avocado, olive oil, etc. And having the occasional salty snack food or dessert is okay! Sports dietitian Molly Morgan suggests her athletes follow a 90/10 rule... 90% of the time choosing the nutrient-rich choices and 10% of the time for the 'extras'".

Click here to download this great Fuel2Win overview handout for quick tips and guidance to boosting your overall eating routine.

If some is good, MORE is not better

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When I work with athletes on basically any aspect of sports nutrition, one thing I find that constantly need to remind them of is: if some is good... MORE is not better. This relates to supplements, water, omega-3 fats, probiotics, protein, etc. 

OMEGA-3 EXAMPLE

I had an athlete once that started experiencing nose bleeds and bruising easily for no explained reason. After talking with them, I realized they were taking an omega-3 supplement daily, having fatty fish like salmon most everyday (rich in omega-3 fats), have omega-3 eggs, and routinely adding fish oil to smoothies. So while omega-3 fats have potential benefits in decreasing inflammation, they also can result in disturbances in blood clotting. Once this athlete backed down on the omega-3 intake, the nose bleeds and bruising easily issues cleared up. 

WATER EXAMPLE

I had another athlete that was cramping up so bad during games that they couldn't finish a game. After reviewing their game day routine, it was determined that they were over hydrating to the point where important electrolytes (e.g. sodium) were being flushed from the body and resulting in cramping. Once their fluid intake was adjusted, the cramping issue subsided. See the Hydration 101 handout and Game Day 3-page handout for more tips and recommendations. 

IF SOME IS GOOD... MORE IS NOT BETTER

When it comes to any aspect of sports nutrition - products, supplements, water, etc. stick with the recommendations and work with your doctor and a sports dietitian on a custom plan that is right for you. Never assume that if some of something like omega-3's or water is good, then more will be better.

If you have a specific question, contact Fuel2Win to have your question answered by sports dietitian, Molly Morgan.