Nutrition equals performance, and nobody knows that better than Kelly Springer. She is a registered dietician and owner of Kelly’s Choice, a collective of registered dietitians, nutritionists and educators who are dedicated to improving our communities by transforming diets. They offer customized nutrition coaching programs for schools, workplaces, medical facilities, and anyone who wants better health, performance and happiness. Kelly also works with a number of college sports teams to help them bring their performance to the next level.
Check out these 5 tips from Kelly on how to bring your A-game all season long.
- Get the POWER OF FIVE at every single meal. It is essential to include five key elements at each mealtime: protein, carbs, fruits, veggies, and dairy. Making sure to hit the Power of Five with every single meal you eat is a great start to season-long nutrition.
- Avoid a crash by pairing the right foods. Combining a carb with a protein helps stabilize your blood glucose levels. Whole grain foods are better than simple carbs and sugary types of food. Try some turkey rollups on a whole-wheat sandwich to fuel up. If you have cravings for sugar, have some fruit. It’s sweet and the fiber will also help prevent a crash. And pro tip: Stay away from fried food before a workout, practice, or game. It takes longer to digest and will weigh heavy in your system like a rock.
- CARBS and FATS are actually crucial to your performance. Think of your body as a fast racecar, like a Ferrari (you’re worth it). You need quality gas to run properly and go fast. It’s the same with carbs. When running sprints or short bursts, you need carbs to do so, and to do it well. As for fats, you need to include some fat at every meal to absorb valuable nutrients. Try some unsaturated fat like avocado, nuts, olive oil, or coconut with every meal.
- You need to start the recovery process immediately. You have a window of about 15-30 minutes to get in your protein and carbs. Think of your cells as a sponge, or rather a very dried out sponge post-workout. They are ready to take in the carbs and protein, but if you wait, the cells lose their ability to absorb and begin to close off. Your cells will stay that way until you work out again. So, the next time you go to work out or play in a game, you’re already diminished. Unlike carbs, protein is not for energy or quick bursts, but for the recovery process and muscle repair. For the proper protein intake, try some turkey rollups, nuts, or even whey protein. HOWEVER, you can only consume 30 grams of protein per sitting, so ditch the 80 gram protein shake. All the extra protein gets stored as fat.
- Hydrate or Die-drate. Hydration is one of the biggest issues with athletes. Take your weight and divide it by two. What’s your number? You should try to drink that (in ounces) every single day. You also need electrolytes to get the fluid into your cells. Potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium are all critical in the hydration process. Electrolyte solutions can be great, but need to be mixed evenly with water in order to move into the cells. This can be difficult with your typical powder electrolyte solution. Try Motive Pure, a liquid electrolyte solution made by none other than a laxer himself, Jesse Hubbard
Click here to check out all 3 videos in this series and to learn more about fueling your body.
For more nutritional tips, check out the Kelly’s Choice website and connect with them on their social media!
What are some of your nutritional tips that are getting you through your summer training and tournaments? Click the title to comment.