• Nutrition for Athletes
      It is important for athletes to get the proper nutrition while training and competing in high school athletics. The proper diet in conjunction with exercise can help reduce the percentage of body fat and increase the amount of lean muscle mass. With a proper diet containing the proper balance of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water an athlete is able to perform at higher levels of competition and able to exercise for longer periods of time. Also, the proper balance of nutrition can allow for an increase in health, allowing for quicker recovery after exercise or even injury.
      The following are some rules to remember for proper nutrition for athletes:
      • It is important for athletes to always eat breakfast. Eating breakfast helps boost your metabolism throughout the day, keeping your appetite in control.
      • Drink plenty of water. It is beneficial for athletes to drink between 8-10 8oz glasses of water a day prior to practice or competition. This will help ensure the proper hydration during the work out preventing dehydration.
      • Eat a balanced diet. Include portions of carbohydrates, fats, proteins. When in doubt, follow the food guide pyramid. It is a good source for direction on what types of food to eat and how much. (They have re-done the food guide pyramid in 2008 to include activity as well as a balanced diet)
      • Eat well balanced snacks throughout the day. They are a good way to boost energy and metabolism through the day prior to competition and practice.  
      So what does this all do for me?
      • Energy source for muscles
      • Cholesterol/fat control
      • Digestion assistant
      • Aids in nutrient/water absorption
      • Energy source
      • Delivers essential amino acids
      • Development of new tissue (important for growth and injury repair)
      • Maintains existing tissue
      • Basic substance for production of enzymes, antibodies, and hormones
      • Aids in fluid balance
      • Carrier for substances in the blood
      • Delivery of fat soluble vitamins
      • Delivery of essential fatty acids
      • Energy/muscular fuel
      • Helps you feel satisfied after eating
      • Tissue function and health (Vitamin A helps with eye function)
      • Immune function (Vitamins A&C)
      • Energy metabolism control (B vitamins)
      • Nutrient absorption (Vitamin D)
      • Nervous system maintenance (Folic acid and Thiamin)
      • Antioxidants
      • Skeletal strength (Calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium)
      • Nerve function (magnesium and calcium)
      • Control's the body's pH levels
      • Oxygen transport (iron)
      • Controls water balance within the body (sodium and potassium)
      • Energy metabolism (zinc)
      • Body's coolant
      • Carrier of nutrients to cells
      • Removes waste
      • Constituent to muscles
      • Helps maintain normal body function
      Nutrient Intake Guidelines:
      • Eat a variety of foods
      • Balance what you eat with physical activity
      • Consume plenty of grain products, vegetables, and fruits
      • Keep fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol low
      • Choose a diet moderate sugars
      • Have a diet moderate in salt
      Benardot, Dan (2000). Nutrition for Serious Athletes. Champaign, IL: Dan Benardot.