Australian Sport - A Winning Diet for Sport - Part 3

Uploaded by ausport on 04.02.2010

“How can I make sure my players go home and eat a high carbohydrate meal? Some of
the fellows can go home to home cooking with their families but most of our players are
young, single and living on their own. What can they do?”
“Moving away from home can place a lot of pressure on a young athlete. It can be hard
to get organised on the domestic scene when you are used to mum looking after you. Many
young athletes lack nutrition knowledge and cooking skills and this does not help by arriving
home tired from a late training session to find the cupboards bare. It is a critical
time in a sporting career and poor nutrition can often be a downfall. A committed athlete
and a wise team will identify problems early and finding practical ways to make good nutrition
part of the program.”
“There are many hints for quick and healthy cooking products such as commercial pasta
sauces frozen vegetable mixes or pizza bases can be used to construct high carbohydrate
rice, pasta, stir-fry or pizza meals. There are great recipe ideas in healthy cookbooks
including some books written especially for athletes. Sports dieticians working with teams
or sporting clubs often run cooking classes or supermarket visits to help athletes become
organised with shopping or preparing food. There are many time saving cooking strategies,
such as cooking in batches so that leftovers can be frozen and microwaved at a later date.”
“What about takeaways? I like them after a late night at the club especially after
one of Sheed’s legendary meetings. Are they really that bad for me?”
“Most takeaway foods are not a good bases for everyday eating, since they tend to be
high in fat and low in carbohydrate and fibre as well as expensive. However if you are eating
on the run takeaways can be useful. With a little bit of thought you should be able to
order a low fat good carbohydrate choice. Pizza and hamburgers can be chosen with low
fat ideas in mind and there are many variations on pasta, rice and bread things. Don’t be
afraid to ask for what you want, with a little creativity you should be able to choose well
from the menu or come up with your own ideas. Of course being well organised means you may
be able to bring your own snacks from home, or come up with a quick meal in your own kitchen."
“How do I bulk up to get stronger? And do I need to eat extra protein to get bigger?"
“Improve strength or muscle bulk is principally a result of doing the right training. Of course
filling out can also be a process of gradually maturing in age and training. You may need
to work with your coach to set body size and strength goals and to decide on a suitable
resistance training program. There is no magic food or protein powder that provides a shortcut
to results or a replacement for the right training. Extra protein is not a cheap nutritional
need for muscle gain instead extra energy intake should be your goal. Extra quantities
of winning diet will provide additional carbohydrate to fuel your training plenty of protein and
other nutrients to build the result. Some athletes in heavy training programs may have
to work on the same principles to stop unwanted weight loss.”
“Although it may sound like heaven eating more food can be a hard task for those with
very high energy requirements. Finding the time and the right foods to eat can be a problem
for some athletes with hectic timetables. Sometimes the size of meals can outweigh comfortable
eating capacity. The key to increasing your food intake is to increase the number of times
you can eat each day, especially the sort of snacks that can be eaten on the run. And
although we generally choose the high fibre choices of carbohydrate foods this is a time
when it to choose more of the less bulky types. Sugar based foods, and white breads and cereals
instead of the whole meal types. Action packed drinks are nutritious, yet less filling then
solid foods you can make up your own fruit smoothies by blending up milk, fruit, yoghurt
or a little ice cream and skim milk powder for an extra boost. Another option is commercial
liquid meal supplements; these are specially manufactured to provide compact energy and
“How do I loose body fat? Especially if I have gained weight during a break from training
or a break caused by injury?”
“Although athletes talk about being overweight, its excess body fat that slows you down. Skin
fold fat measurements… the pinch test. Are often used to access body fat levels. You
should work with your coach to identify a body fat level that corresponds with good
health and good performance. At some time during their career most athletes need to
loose body fat to reach their ideal levels. This should be achieved by changing energy
balance. So the daily energy expenditure exceeds daily energy intake. This may require changes
to both food intake and training."
“Loosing body fat is a long term goal. A consistent loss of half a kilogram per week
is a good target for most athletes. This can be achieved with a small reduction of energy
intake each day. A sports dietician can help you plan a suitable eating program but you
may be able to pin point eating habits to change yourself. It’s useful to keep a food
record for a week, to face the truth about what really goes into your mouth. Look for
improvements that you can make in the following three areas. 1. Eating too much food; for
example over eating because you have let yourself get too hungry. Or when you eat what everybody
else is eating. 2. Eating too much fat. 3. Eating because you are bored or upset. Consistency
with your new eating habits will achieve and maintain your body fat goals.”
“Are there any special nutritional needs for females? I’ve heard iron and calcium
can be a problem.”
“For many female athletes the struggle to keep body weight and body fat at a desirable
level becomes the dominant issue of nutrition. In some cases it can take over your life and
make eating and sport activities that should be pleasurable full of misery and frustration.
Part of this problem is in setting targets that are healthy, good for performance and
achievable. This is understandable as in our society females are rarely satisfied with
their shape and weight, no matter what it is. Even when body fat loss is warranted many
female athletes are tempted to follow quick loss schemes and fad diets. Risking frustration
and failure to achieve long term weight control. As well as the risk of long term nutritional
deficiencies. Your menstrual cycle is also a casualty of inappropriate weight loss and
other poor nutrition practices. What ever the cause absent or irregular periods should
always be discussed with your sports doctor. Hormone balance is important for the health
of your bones. Strong bones are not only important for your sporting career but also to reduce
the risk of osteoporosis later in life."
“It is important to set yourself a healthy weight and body fat level, and a happy attitude
about your body. It is often useful to get some expert help with this. Even if it seems
that male athletes have an easier time with their body fat levels, be pleased with all
the benefits of your winning diet. Iron and calcium are important nutrients for all athletes,
but are often a short supply in the diets of female athletes. The best calcium sources
are dairy products with low fat and reduced fat types playing a major role in the winning
diet. We should all include at least three serves in our daily food plans. For example
two glasses of low fat milk and carton of yoghurt. Calcium is important for strong healthy
bones especially during teenage years, when peak bone mass is being layed down. A regular
menstrual cycle is also important for this process. Iron is important for good oxygen
carrying capacity in your blood and muscles. An iron deficiency may cause fatigue and loss
of performance in heavily training athletes. Many athletes find it difficult to meet the
iron requirements of heavy training and female athletes have even greater requirements to
cover any losses due to menstruation. Lean red meat is a great source or well absorbed
iron and should be included regularly in a varied diet. Wholegrain cereal foods particularly
breakfast cereals are another good source or iron. Consuming a vitamin C food at the
same meal is a clever plan as this helps the iron from plant food sources to be better
absorbed. Although tiredness can be caused by a number of factors if your feeling unnecessarily
fatigued and you think you may be at risk of a poor iron intake, then check in with
a sports doctor or dietician. Iron supplements may be part of treating iron deficiency, but
they should only be taken on the advice of these experts. The best long term plan is
a winning diet high in iron. Vegetarian eaters should seek special help from sports dietician
to ensure they find alternative sources or iron in their meals.”