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.

Product Tip: Fuel For Fire

It is always important to have planned snacks that will deliver the fuel to keep your body running at it's peak. Although when your schedule is crazy it can get challenging. Sports dietitian, Molly Morgan's latest product tip is Fuel For Fire Smoothie Pouches. This product has a perfect blend of fruit and protein, each pouch provides about 100 calories, 15 grams of carbs, and 10 - 12 grams of protein.

Fuel for Fire Smoothie

Plus the ingredient list of the pouches is simple - for example the strawberry banana smoothie ingredients include: banana, strawberry, water, whey protein isolate, natural flavor, citric acid, and ascorbic acid (aka vitamin c).

The pouches are available in a variety of flavors including: tropical, sweet potato apple, strawberry banana, coffee, and banana cocoa. Note: The coffee one has 65 milligrams of caffeine, which is ideal for adult athletes over the age of 18 and would not be recommended for younger athletes. 

When should you add these pouches in as an athlete? When you are active for longer periods of time it is important to routinely have carbohydrates, some protein, and fat to keep energy levels up and balance blood sugar levels. This is especially for activities that are lasting longer than 1 - 2 hours.

What is great about these Fuel for Fire pouches is that once they are opened you can put the cap back on - making this ideal to stick back in a bike jersey pocket, backpack, or golf bag. 

Another suggestion of when to include these notes Morgan, is for a quick on the go snack! "I bring a couple of these along with me for busy days to help keep our little guys fueled and I always bring them along when the boys are out playing a golf match," states Morgan. 

Fuel For Fire pouches are available at Wegman's grocery stores or also buy them on-line directly from Fuel for Fire

Recipe: Maple Sea Salt Energy Bites

Energy bites are great to make ahead and have ready for a on the go breakfast or snack! This energy bite recipe pairs the sweetness of maple syrup with the crunch of pecans and sea salt - plus with a base of whole grains.  Each bite will deliver: 130 calories, 2 grams of fiber, plus 3 grams of protein! 

Maple Pecan Energy Bites

Makes 12 - 16 bites per recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup (240 mL) old fashioned oats
1/2 cup (120 mL) almond butter
1/2 cup (120 mL) flax seed meal
1/2 cup (120 mL) chopped pecans
1/3 cup (80 mL) maple syrup 1 tablespoon
(30 mL) chia seeds sea salt

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
2. Form into 1” blocks and transfer to parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt.
3. Place in a freezer bag or container and store in freezer or refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts (per bite) : 130 calories, 9 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 35 milligrams sodium, 12 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

Q & A with Mike Sdao

Mike Sdao Professional defenseman currently with the Rapid City Rush (ECHL) and formerly with the Binghamton Senators (AHL). 

Mike Sdao Professional defenseman currently with the Rapid City Rush (ECHL) and formerly with the Binghamton Senators (AHL). 

Q: What is the biggest challenge around food & nutrition for you as an athlete?

Finding healthy food to eat on the road. 

Grab quick on the go snack ideas with this Fuel 2 Win handout, click here to download it. 

Q: What is one (or more) of your favorite go-to snacks to keep your energy levels up?

Simple carb like air popped popcorn or pretzels. 

Q: What is your favorite grain and how do you like to have it (e.g. quinoa, brown rice pasta, etc.)?
Rice, I like to have it on game days because it is easy and I feel like it gives me energy without feeling heavy like pasta or some other carbs.


Q: If you could give a nutrition tip to another athlete what would it be?
It can make a big difference not only in your performance but in your consistency. 


Q: Do you have a favorite smoothie combination that you enjoy?
I've actually moved onto juicing rather than smoothies just because I feel like I sometimes put on weight when I have smoothies often. 

Q & A with Tomas Kudelka

Q: What is the biggest challenge around food & nutrition for you as an athlete?

Tomáš Kudělka (Born March 10, 1987) is a Czech professional ice hockey defenceman

Tomáš Kudělka (Born March 10, 1987) is a Czech professional ice hockey defenceman

A: For me biggest challenge around food and nutrition is eating on the road. When season starts you travel a lot, eat in different hotels, different food or even sometimes you have to eat in the bus/plane. And also after every game you feel differently. But you have to be smart and find the right solution for your body to be in the best shape possible.

Q: What is one (or more) of your favorite go-to snacks to keep your energy levels up? 

A: I really like Greek yogurt with banana and raisins. Or just a cup of chia seeds.

Q: Did you find it difficult adjusting to American food/restaurants when living in the United States? 

A: Yes, on the start i found it really difficult. So many fast foods and junk food around. I guess its easier for American people eat like this. I found that Americans love fast food. You have to find right places, where to eat. But also its going to cost you way more money.

Q: If you could give a nutrition tip to another athlete what would it be?

A: Always stay well hydrated. Everybody eats fruits, but don't forget to eat a lot of vegetables as well.

Q: Do you have a favorite dinner that you like to make?

A: My favorite dinner to make is a salmon. You need... salmon, olive oil, 1/2 lemon, fresh dill and "Kudy's" secret spices.