“Lacrosse Nutrition”: Student-Athletes, Boys And Girls, Must Fuel Body With Proper Combination Of Complex Carbs And Protein


“Know how important it is to keep the body fueled, not just on game day but all week, all season.”

“…multiply your body weight by 15 if male and 13 if female, add the number of calories you burn in a one-hour workout and you have the number of daily calories you need to maintain your current weight…”

So, if you are a 140-pound field-hockey player, you need about 2,320 calories daily to maintain your weight during the season (140×13=1,820+500=2,320). If you are a 200-pound football lineman, you need 3,740 calories.

wholegrainpancakes1

Carbohydrates, protein and fat are the three sources of calories for an athlete’s fuel tank. Carbs provide the energy for muscles during anaerobic activity such as running. Complex carbs such as whole-grain breads and cereals, bagels, pancakes, waffles, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, fruits and vegetables are better than simple carbs such as table sugar, candy, sweets and soda because they contain fiber, vitamins and minerals as well as energy.

“No one should skip breakfast. You need breakfast for brain activity as well. If you don’t have breakfast, you will compromise your learning ability,” he said. His choices run the gamut from eggs and pancakes to cereal and fruit to frozen waffles with peanut butter and banana, “a great sandwich.”

  http://www.projo.com/sports/mikeszostak/sp_hs_mike_szostak_20_12-20-08_RFCLB0T_v12.34bd874.html

Nutrition expert Tim Wierman suggests that in many cases athletes who “run out of gas” never had a full tank to start with. They shortchanged themselves by not eating the proper food at the proper time in the proper amount, and when their muscles called for fuel, their gas tank delivered only fumes.

“Athletes need enough calories to avoid fatigue,” Wierman told an audience of about 250 high school athletes, coaches and parents during a 2 1/2-hour program on nutrition at Rhode Island College this month. “Athletes can’t afford to consume too few calories. You will compromise your ability to run.”

 

Wierman is president of Nutrition Education Services Inc., based in West Chester, Pa. A soccer player in college, he is an endurance athlete now, a veteran of 60 triathlons, among them the Ironman USA. He appeared at RIC as part of a health-related series sponsored by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.

Wierman understands from his own experience the need to fuel the body before an event. Or, as he has dubbed his program, the need to Eat to Compete. He has preached this simple message to high school and college athletes and coaches across the nation: “Know how important it is to keep the body fueled, not just on game day but all week, all season.”

How much fuel is necessary to fill the tank? Here’s Wierman’s formula: multiply your body weight by 15 if male and 13 if female, add the number of calories you burn in a one-hour workout and you have the number of daily calories you need to maintain your current weight.

Consume more calories or decrease your exercise, and you will gain weight. Consume fewer calories or increase your exercise, and you will lose weight. Simple.

So, if you are a 140-pound field-hockey player, you need about 2,320 calories daily to maintain your weight during the season (140×13=1,820+500=2,320). If you are a 200-pound football lineman, you need 3,740 calories.

 

“Anything less than 2,000 calories a day and you’re compromising your health and not being fair to your team,” Wierman said.

He is sensitive to the pressure society places on girls and young women to play like jocks but look like models.

“You don’t have to be a thin athlete to be a fit athlete,” he said, citing the tennis champion Serena Williams. Bigger than many players on the pro tour, she is fit, unless her knees are bothering her.

Wierman told the story of a Division II college basketball player who weighed 138 pounds and was the starting point guard at the end of her junior year. When she returned in the fall for her senior season, she weighed 120.

“She lost 18 pounds over the summer. She also lost her three-point shot, her speed, her stamina and her starting position,” he said. “If you want to be a runway model, you should not be out on the field.”

Where those calories come from and when are also critical to an athlete’s performance. Carbohydrates, protein and fat are the three sources of calories for an athlete’s fuel tank. Carbs provide the energy for muscles during anaerobic activity such as running. Complex carbs such as whole-grain breads and cereals, bagels, pancakes, waffles, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, fruits and vegetables are better than simple carbs such as table sugar, candy, sweets and soda because they contain fiber, vitamins and minerals as well as energy.

Muscle tissue is 72 percent water and 22 percent protein, with the remaining 6 percent fats, carbohydrates and nutrients. Protein is essential to build and maintain muscle but is not a source of energy for muscle. Lean meat, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, seafood, eggs and low-fat dairy products are sources of protein.

Fat is stored energy but needs at least 30 minutes to become available as body fuel and so is an energy source for light to medium aerobic exercise of longer duration such as walking. Unsaturated fats in vegetable oils are beneficial. Saturated fats in dairy and animal products are less desirable because over time they can build up deposits in arteries.

An athlete should consume up to 70 percent of his or her total calories from carbohydrates — no more than 10 percent from simple carbs — 25 percent or less from fat, and 15 percent from proteins.

“Do not drop below 60 percent carbs. If you do, you won’t be topping off your fuel tank,” Wierman said.

Every athlete eating to compete should start with breakfast.

“No one should skip breakfast. You need breakfast for brain activity as well. If you don’t have breakfast, you will compromise your learning ability,” he said. His choices run the gamut from eggs and pancakes to cereal and fruit to frozen waffles with peanut butter and banana, “a great sandwich.”

“Bagels are OK, but go light on the condiments. Pancakes are OK, but go light on the syrup and butter. Pancakes within three hours are in your hamstrings, glutes and quads. When you skip that breakfast, you’re compromising your after-school practice,” he said.

A slice or two of cold pizza is better than nothing, but skip the bacon and sausage because they “are doing nothing for your performance in the afternoon.”

Lunch is important, and if it’s late morning, then a pre-practice or pre-game snack in equally important. So is having something to eat shortly after a workout, which Wierman calls recovery. A peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, an energy bar or even a slice or two of bread is an ideal quick snack.

Wierman cautioned that “one pregame meal will not make up for a week of eating garbage or not eating.” Game-day intake should be simple. “You’re not there to satisfy your palate four to six hours before a game,” he said. And a recovery snack or small meal the sooner the better is important, especially during a season with multiple games in a week. He said that “too many athletes do a lousy job of recovery from one day to the next,” and that “what you do after one practice will dictate how you do in 24 hours.”

Staying hydrated with water, juice and sports drinks is essential, and Wierman offered this recipe for a homemade sports drink: ½ water, ½ juice (apple, cranberry) and a pinch of salt. If urine runs clear, the body is hydrated. If it runs yellow, it’s dehydrated and time to “get on the water bottle.”

Wierman sympathized with athletes trying to stay hydrated during the day needing frequent bathroom breaks. “That’s a challenge, and I don’t have an answer,” he said. Morning practices are another challenge, and he suggested a 500-calorie snack before bed and a banana in the morning. For night games, he suggested a good lunch and a mid-afternoon meal about four hours before game time.

Athletes should be aware of portion size — piece of meat or fish the size of a deck of cards is ideal — and beware of fast food, he advised. If your craving for a big burger is so great, accompany it with a salad and juice rather than fries and super-size soda.

“French fries,” he said, “don’t do much for us whatsoever.”

One response to ““Lacrosse Nutrition”: Student-Athletes, Boys And Girls, Must Fuel Body With Proper Combination Of Complex Carbs And Protein

  1. Great post – first time visitor. I am a former lacrosse player and now high school coach – we provide nutritional information to the team (some follow it, some don’t). It is easy to tell (at the end of practices and late in the season) who is more diligent about their nutritional intake. It shows up on the field…

    Keep up the good work.

    -Jeff

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s