For your athletes to excel in the game, they need to consume the right nutrition. Providing nutrition advice to your athletes can help them make the most of their athletic talents.
Encourage your athletes to keep the following three important principles of sports nutrition in mind throughout conditioning and competition:
- Stay hydrated.
- Provide fuel for muscles.
- Promote optimal recovery after exercise.
The most important factor in sports nutrition is water, which makes up approximately 60% of body weight. Athletes require more water than the typical 8 cups of water everyone should drink each day. Remember to stress the importance of staying hydrated to your players to ensure they avoid overheating or becoming dehydrated during play.
Provided by the American College of Sports Medicine, the following guidelines can help educate your athletes on how to stay hydrated:
- Drink about 17 ounces of fluid 2 to 3 hours before exercise.
- Drink about 8 to 10 ounces of water 10 to 20 minutes before exercise.
- Drink about 8 to 10 ounces of water every 15 minutes or so during your workout.
- If you exercise for more than an hour, consider a sports drink.
- Continue drinking water after your workout to replace any fluids lost.
Eating a balanced diet and having the right combination of calories from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is key to sports nutrition. Prior to competition your athletes should eat a meal high in carbohydrates, choose easily digestible foods, avoid sugary foods within one hour of the competition, and drink plenty of water.
After workouts and competition, athletes should consume the following within 30-60 minutes to promote proper recovery:
- Carbohydrates for glycogen restoration
- Protein for repairing and building new muscle tissue
- Fluids and sodium for rehydration
“If your athletes apply these three principles correctly, they can maximize their training efforts and compete at their best level,” explains Dr. Gary G. Doss, sports medicine specialist atOrthopedic Associates of Port Huron.