Want top Performance? Go for Top Fuel!
Military members and athletes have a lot in common in their quest for top performance. Proper nutrition is fundamental to the "soldier-athlete".
If you are serious about getting the most out of your workouts, it is vital that you regularly supply your body with nutritious food. Healthy eating packs a powerful punch, providing your body with the nutrients and energy to deliver maximum performance. It provides that winning edge!
Timing is everything
A critical period occurs right AFTER activity. Recovery nutrition prepares you for your NEXT physical challenge. It promotes muscle repair, glycogen (energy) storage and mental alertness.
Does your recovery plan replenish protein, carbohydrates, fluids and electrolytes?
Protein and Carbs
After training your muscles are primed for growth and repair. So ideally within 15 - 30 minutes, fuel up with foods to give lots of carbs (50 - 100g) and adequate protein (10 - 20 g). Eat a balanced meal within 2 hours (or snack every 2 hours until your next meal).
- Yogourt, orange juice and 2 fig bars
- Bagel and chocolate milk
- Milk, a granola bar and an apple
- Fruit smoothie (in a Thermos) and a low fat muffin
- Instant breakfast in milk and a banana
Protein is abundant in food!!!
Milk, yogourt, eggs, lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu, skim milk powder, cheese, and even grain products.
Fluid replacement is vital.
Drink 1.5 L of fluid for every kilogram of weight lost during exercise.
Electrolytes are an issue in hot humid weather. You easily can replace sodium and potassium with foods such as vegetable juice, pretzels, salted nuts, fruit and milk.
So What's in Your Bars and Bottles? ........ Read the Labels
Protein for muscle building.... There's a cheaper whey!.. The average North American diet supplies more than enough protein for athletes. If, however, you want extra, rather than spending big bucks on protein or amino acid powders, try good old skim milk powder - it is cheaper and contains whey as well as other proteins. Mix it into milk, puddings, soups, sauces, even meatloaf.
Nutritional supplements.... Beware... If it sounds too good to be true - it probably is. There is no magic bullet or potion that will take the place of hard work and smart food choices.
Be a detective. Can you compare products and spot the top fuel options?
Ingredient list.... A great place to start. Ingredients are listed from most to least by weight.
- The top 3 ingredients give you a good feel for what you are eating (carb, protein, etc).
- Caffeine or guarama in drinks (sport, energy or cola soft drinks) can lead to jitters and poorer performance.
- 100% fruit juice packs a bigger nutritional punch than fruit "punches" or "drinks" which are mostly water and sugar.
Next, remember to check out the Nutrition Facts table to determine your serving size before calculating your nutrients and calories.
Low fat - light - high fibre ... these are examples of nutrient content claims used by manufacturers to feature their product. But the claims usually tell only part of the story.... So check out the detailed information on the Nutrition Facts table as well. Remember that "fat free" does not mean calorie free - the product may be high in refined ingredients such as sugar.
Hungry for More?
Contact your local Strengthening the Forces, Health Promotion Office for additional resources or visit the Strengthening the Forces web site