Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I don’t have time to eat healthy!

Sound familiar?  I’m not a big fan of excuses so I thought I would provide some help or direction to make time for food.  While attempting to come up with a witty way to talk about time management and fitting nutrition into the schedule, I came across a great website from Dartmouth University’s Academic Skills Center, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/time.html. They have time management handouts, calendars, links to other time management websites and even videos.
Part of a student-athlete’s job is to fuel their body for optimal performance, so please remember to make eating for performance a high priority.  Your foods and their nutrients play a vital role in preparing you for competition, your immune health, and your recovery from workouts.  

Here are a few tips to remember:

Breakfast:  Start your day off right by breaking your fast.  Student-athletes who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom than those that skip breakfast.  Don’t be confined by tradition, if you want to eat leftovers or cheese and crackers for breakfast, then do it!  A banana dipped in peanut butter is another great option.

Lunch:  Plan, plan, plan!  It can be pretty cheap to take your lunch to class with you, sandwiches, yogurts, fruits, etc., but if  you forget or oversleep and are forced to eat fast food, do so with a plan!  Go for the lower fat options such as grilled chicken sandwiches (minus the mayo) or bean burritos.

Dinner:  End your day on a great note, by refueling your body and rewarding yourself for accomplishing all your day’s goals (or most of them anyway).  Enjoy your food and take some you time to relax because your mental health is just as important as your physical!

In between:  Internationally known sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD says, Research suggests that eating 15 minutes before you exercise is as effective for boosting your energy as eating an hour before. However, if you will be doing a sprint workout, you might want to eat an hour or two pre-exercise to allow food time to exit the stomach. One of the best ways to enhance recovery is to fuel before exercise with a carb/protein snack (recovery can actually start pre-exercise, so the "tools" to recover are already in your system) and then to refuel afterwards, again with some carbs & protein. The carbs provide fuel for working muscles and body processes and the protein heals and builds. (http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/about/index.html)

Tools to eat, work and play with:

·         Make a list of to-do’s (prioritize tasks)
·         Concentrate on one thing (avoid multi-tasking, texting, Facebook, and homework)
·         Avoid procrastination
·         Set personal deadlines
·         Avoid burnout and always save some time for relaxation, even if it is only 5-15 minutes, and remember to reward yourself for your accomplishments.

Need help with sports nutrition?  Start here:  http://www.scandpg.org/

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