Elk Grove High School Softball: Handouts


Nutrition (Compliments of the White Rock Renegades)
Proper Dieting

All athletes are encouraged to follow the rules of healthy eating to help their performances both in training and in competition. Some important principles of sport nutrition are:

1. Keep yourself in shape with a body fat level that suits your sport eat the right amount of kilojoules for your body size and training program.

2. Keep your muscles fuelled up for training and competition by eating plenty of carbohydrate foods. Make room for these foods by reducing the amount of fat that is in the typical American diet.

3. Enjoy a variety of nutritious foods to provide you with all the protein, vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Your need for some of these nutrients will increase because of your heavy exercise program.

4. Look after fluid needs. Drink before, during and after exercise sessions to prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated.

Athletes come in different sizes and shapes, and follow different types of training programs. While they may all follow these nutrition rules, their meals may look quite different. Athletes who train strenuously for many hours each day will need to eat large amounts of carbohydrate and kilojoules. Big, tall athletes will need to eat more than petite athletes such as gymnasts. Many athletes need to organize their meals to fit around their training or competition schedules."

General - Pre and Post Game
Nutrition and the Athlete
General guidelines,
pre- and post-game advice

The following information provides a quick look at what works best in nutritional care for the athlete. For more information consult a professional who is trained in sports nutrition.

The goals of nutritional care for athletes are simple and straightforward. For the most part, nutritional care should:
- ensure that athletes are properly hydrated during periods of active training and competition.
- provide adequate calories to meet growth and development needs, if in youth and adolescent years, and the extra needs of the physical activity.
- supply nutrients from food.
- instill sound nutrition principles and practices that will last a lifetime.

The best eating habits for the athlete may be as follows:
1. Design a meal pattern that fits your daily cycle. Plan to eat several times a day using regularly spaced meals and snacks to help meet caloric and nutrient needs.
2. Eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates (starches). Starchy foods such as pasta, breads, cereals, potatoes, corn, peas and others provide a major energy source to fuel your activities. These foods are also a source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
3. Drink sufficient fluids to stay hydrated during training and competition periods - don't wait until you are thirsty to drink.
4. Eat a diet that contains a variety of foods from breads and cereals; fruits; vegetables; meat and meat substitutes; and dairy foods. It is your best insurance for getting needed nutrients.

Diet and training work together:
- Diet supplies the needed fuel sources and nutrients for physical activity.
- Training improves the body's use of fuel and enhances muscle glycogen storage.

Pre-Game Rules
1. Eat lightly before an athletic competition.
2. Eat complex carbohydrates, keep protein and fat intakes low since these slow digestion.
3. Avoid bulky foods. They may stimulate bowel movements. Bulky foods include raw fruits and vegetables, dry beans and peas and popcorn.
4. Avoid gas-forming foods such as vegetables from the cabbage family and cooked dry beans.
5. Eat slowly and chew well.
6. Drink water to be adequately hydrated. One suggestion is to drink 2 cups of cool water 1-2 hours before the event. Follow this by drinking 1 to 2 cups of fluid 15 minutes before the event.
7. Avoid drastic changes in your normal diet routine immediately prior to competition. Some athletes prefer to use favorite foods which may give them a psychological edge.

Post-Game Rules
1. Consume carbohydrate-rich foods and beverages as soon as possible after competition. They will replenish glycogen stores quickly and get the athlete back into performance shape. Fruits, juices, high carbohydrate drinks and pop are examples.
2. Replace fluids that have been lost. For every pound that is lost, drink 2 cups of fluids.
3. Replace any potassium or sodium that has been lost during competition or training by using foods. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of potassium. Replace sodium by eating salty foods. If activity has exceeded 2 hours and is vigorous, a sports beverage will be helpful.
4. Return to your normal high carbohydrate diet at your next meal.

Fluid Replacements
Nutrition and the Athlete
Fluid Replacements

Of all nutritional concerns for athletes the most critical is proper fluid hydration. One of the key functions of fluid for the athlete is for body temperature control. Lack of this element above all others can hinder performance and lead to more serious complications.

A fluid loss of as little as 2-3 percent of body weight impairs performance. Fluid losses of 7-10 percent of body weight will lead to heat stroke and death. For a 150-pound person, a 2-3 percent fluid loss equates to 3 to 4 1/2 pounds of body weight.

Research shows that endurance athletes who are involved in physical activity for more than an hour and a half can produce up to three quarts of sweat per hour. That equals a loss of 6 pounds of body weight.

Fluid replacement is a special concern for children involved in sports activities. Children have lower sweating capacity and they tolerate temperature extremes less efficiently than adults. Young children also produce more heat during exercise. They typically take two to three days longer to get used to exercise during warm weather. Keep the water bottle handy during all sports activities for children. Even better, don't let your children leave home without it.

Five Basic Rules for Fluid Replacement:
1. Cool fluids are best (40 - 50 F).
2. Plain water, or sports drinks and diluted juices that have 4-8 percent carbohydrate concentration, adequately replace fluid for most athletes. On sports drink labels look for carbohydrate contents of less than 20 grams per 1 cup (8 oz). Dilute fruit juice by mixing one part juice with one part water. Extremely concentrated beverages such as carbonated sodas, undiluted fruit drinks and juices, and high carbohydrate supplements will slow absorption rates. They are not useful for immediate fluid replacement.
3. Don't depend on thirst. By the time you feel thirsty, your body already has started to dehydrate.
4. Weigh before and after an athletic event. Replace 2 cups fluid for every 1 pound lost.
5. Sip water or dilute fluids (<20 grams of carbohydrate per cup) during competition or training. Athletes involved in steady competition or training for longer than one hour may benefit by using cool, pleasantly flavored, lightly sweetened beverages such as diluted fruit juices or sports drinks. These beverages provide both a fluid replacement and carbohydrates.

The suggested protocol for fluid replacement is:
Drink 2 cups cool water about 2 hours before competition or training. Follow this by drinking 1 to 2 cups fluid 15 minutes before the event.
Drink 4 to 6 oz (1/2 to 3/4 cup) of cool water, diluted fruit juice or sport drink every 10 to 15 minutes during competition or workout.
After competition or workout, weigh and replace every pound of lost weight with 2 cups plain water or sweet-tasting beverage. Avoid caffeine-containing beverages and alcohol.

Fueling Your Sport
Nutrition and the Athlete
Fueling Your Sport

Increased activity brought on by participating in workouts, training or competition requires extra energy intake. Dietary plans that provide the most efficient energy sources will help to fuel the athlete for success. A diet built around high levels of complex carbohydrates protein intake is the best approach.

Several factors influence the amount of energy that athletes need to successfully train and compete. The type, intensity and frequency of training as well as the size, age and sex of the individual are major factors that dictate energy needs. For example, "weekend" athletes who engage in short bursts of activity will have different energy needs than serious marathon runners who are intensely training.

Carbohydrates, fats and protein all provide energy for the body. The primary functions of protein are growth, maintenance and repair of body tissue rather than as an energy source. Using protein for energy is inefficient, expensive, and may lead to liver and kidney problems in later life. Carbohydrates and fats should be the energy sources to fuel the human body in all types of activity.

Carbohydrate-rich foods are the best fuel sources for athletes. Sports nutritionists recommend that about 55 to 65 percent of calories come from carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates such as starches should make up the majority of carbohydrate fuel. Examples of starchy foods are breads, cereals, pastas, starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes, and dried beans and peas. Fruits are also excellent sources of carbohydrates. It is important to eat a variety.

Besides providing energy, carbohydrate-rich foods such as grain and cereal products, fruits, vegetables, and legumes are excellent sources of fiber. Vitamins and minerals are abundant in many of these foods.

In an athletic event, carbohydrates are the initial fuel source. In short-burst, high-intensity events such as sprinting, jumping and pole vaulting, carbohydrates provide 100 percent of energy. For longer events carbohydrates and fats are the energy sources.

The body stores limited amounts of carbohydrates as glycogen. Through physical training and a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, athletes are able to store more glycogen and to use its limited supply sparingly. The amount of energy available from glycogen storage is about 1800 - 2000 calories. When stores run low, athletes become fatigued and performance suffers.

Carbohydrate Loading
Carbohydrate loading (also called glycogen loading) is a technique that may help endurance athletes such as marathon runners, biathletes and triathletes. Although the original technique for carbohydrate loading produced detrimental effects, a modern adaptation of the technique provides better results. The technique does not benefit athletes who are involved in training or competition for less than 90 continuous minutes.

Modified carbohydrate loading allows athletes to eat their normal high carbohydrate training diet. In the final three days prior to competition, athletes push daily carbohydrate intake to 525-550 grams of carbohydrate or 65 percent of calories from carbohydrate, whichever is greater. This final push of carbohydrate will enhance glycogen storage within the body. Intakes above 500 to 600 grams of carbohydrate per day do not contribute significantly to muscle glycogen storage or athletic performance.

Carbohydrates During and After Athletic Events
When athletic events last more than 60 minutes, athletes benefit by eating carbohydrates during exercise. The extra fuel helps them stay competitive longer. Slightly sweetened beverages which contain less than 24 grams of carbohydrate per one cup (8 oz) may be used. Nutritionists recommend 50-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour to fuel athletes through endurance events. Fruit juices that are diluted one part juice to one part water or some sports drinks will do the trick for endurance athletes.

Following training or competing, it's important to eat complex carbohydrate-rich foods as soon as possible. After replenishment athletes can resume their normal high carbohydrate training diet. During training or competition, glycogen stores are used for energy and need to be replenished.

Fats, the other important fuel source, have over twice as many calories as an equal weight of carbohydrate. Aerobic training increases the body's ability to use fat as an energy source so that glycogen can be spared. However, fats cannot be used exclusively as a fuel. Some carbohydrates must always be available as a fuel source even in the best trained athlete.

Body fat storage will vary from athlete to athlete. Even in a fairly lean individual, there will be a good energy source from stored fat. For example, a 150-pound athlete who has 10 percent body fat has about 62,000 calories as stored energy. That's plenty of energy to fuel an athletic event over an extended period.

Since the body's fat storage is more than adequate to provide extra energy from fat it is not necessary to get extra fat from your diet. In fact, a diet that is moderately low in fat (no more than 30 percent of total calories from fat) will not hinder performance and will promote an eating style that will be beneficial throughout life.