The phrase bigger, faster, and stronger is one that I hear repeatedly from coaches, athletes, and parents alike. They all want the same thing for their athletes which is to possess all of those characteristics. The problem is that most people focus on strength training, speed and agility training, and sport specific training. No one wants to talk about what you eat before practice or a game. It is easy to overlook the single most important aspect of training is nutrition. If you don’t have proper nutrition, it doesn’t matter what you do from a training standpoint because proper fuel is required for EVERYTHING.
An athlete requires a fair amount of calories to maintain body weight and to make sure that they are performing at an elite level. Most athletes that I speak to don’t eat breakfast or eat things like Lucky Charms. This is not the appropriate type of calories and not eating is even worse. It is no wonder students that don’t eat breakfast have a hard time focusing in class and are tired the first part of the day.
One of the second most overlooked meals is an athlete’s lunch choices. Many of the school districts lunches are inedible at best. The best option for most is to pack a lunch from home. The lunch should consist of a healthy amount of protein, carbs, and fat. This will enable a student to focus better as well as have enough energy for practice afterschool. If an athlete doesn’t eat appropriately for lunch, they cannot practice at a high level either. This is why it is crucial to look at what calories you are putting in your body in relation to the amount of activity required after consumption.
Meal frequency is another important aspect of nutrition for an athlete. In an ideal setting an athlete would consume five to six small meals. Each meal should consist of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. The meals should be eaten every two to three hours like clockwork. This helps to keep the metabolism functioning at a high level and makes sure the athlete stays in an anabolic state.
If you have questions about nutrition for your athlete, please feel free to reach out to Xcellerated Speed Training. I would be happy to get them on the right path to be able to perform at an elite level.