Book end workouts with good nutrition!

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1 Gym America Nutrition Presentation Christy Hoban, MS RD As a high level athlete, a significant time is spent in the gym on skill, strength, conditioning and power work. This is all done of course to perform to the best of abilities. One factor that is often overlooked and that plays a huge part in this equation is nutrition. Without a doubt, nutrition can positively or negatively impact performance. Nutrition as a vital part of training can: 1. Enhance performance speed, strength, stamina and power 2. Delay fatigue and enhance energy levels during exercise and throughout the day 3. Optimize body composition 4. Lead to better and faster recovery 5. Decrease soreness and inflammation 6. Reduce injury risk 7. Enhance immunity and reduce risk of illness 8. And outside the gym - improve academic performance There are a lot of great ways for gymnasts to get the right nutrition but it all takes a little planning. Gymnasts should make their eating plan a commitment just like any other part of training. Nutrition Keys to Success: 1. Take time to plan a strategic eating routine to improve performance 2. Fuel well all day long especially before, during, and after workouts 3. Include POWER foods for all day long eating that are jam-packed with great nutrients 4. Implement a recovery nutrition program after workouts and competitions Book end workouts with good nutrition!

2 The Right Fue l MIx A high performance racecar needs just the right fuel mix for peak performance. Peak athletic performance requires plenty of high quality nutrition in the same way. The optimal eating plan for a gymnast is one that is rich in good quality carbohydrates, includes an adequate supply of protein and is low in fat. Gymnasts should eat 5-6 times per day in order to obtain their nutrition needs (3 meals and two power snacks). At each meal, food should be eaten from at least three different food groups. Start with a base of healthy whole grains (breads, cereals, pastas, rice), add protein and lots of fruits and vegetables. Meet the Players: Carbohydrates or "carbs" (found in pasta, bread, cereal, rice, potatoes, fruits, milk, yogurt, etc.) are incredibly important for athletes because they supply the body with glucose (blood sugar) for energy. Extra glucose is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen, energy stores. Gymnastics is a sport with repeated bursts of intense energy, which uses fast twitch muscle fibers. A gymnast s body therefore relies on its reserves of glycogen from carbohydrate rich foods. Whole grains (such as brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread) should be chosen more often than refined and simple carbs like white rice and white bread. That's because whole grains provide both the energy athletes need to perform and the fiber and other nutrients they need to be healthy. After training, eating carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen may help with faster recovery harder training. Protein (found in lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy, nuts and beans) is important to gymnasts for its significant role in building and repairing muscle tissue. Research supports a protein intake of grams per pound of body weight per day for athletes. All meals and snacks should contain protein. (See separate protein handout) Fat (found in oils, healthy fats from fish, nuts, and avocados) help support energy, immune function and recovery. Hamburger Demo All foods can fit.

3 Protein When working with Gym America gymnasts who have repeat injuries and who lack energy, their diet analysis has consistently revealed a low intake of protein. Often times this is because of a busy schedule and a need to grab quick foods, which are often simple carbohydrate heavy. All meals and even snacks should include some protein. Protein Sources: 1% or skim milk (8 oz = 8 grams) Low fat yogurt (8 oz = 8 grams) Cheese (6-8 grams per ounce) 1 Egg (6 grams) Soy milk (8 oz = 7 grams) Nuts (1/4 cup = 6-9 grams) Peanut Butter (2 Tablespoons = 8 grams) Beans/Peas (1 cup = grams) Chicken (3 oz = grams) Beef (3 oz = grams) Fish (3 oz = 17-24) Deli Chicken/Turkey slice (1 oz slice = 5 grams) Tofu (1/2 cup = 9 grams) Kashi Go Lean Cereal (1 cup = 13 grams) Kashi Go Lean Crunnch (1 cup = 9 grams) Oatmeal Quick Cooked ( 1 cup = 6 grams) Other ideas: Smoothies with instant breakfast or protein powder (see recipes)

4 Breakfast: Eat to win! Breakfast is vital to an athlete s performance and literally means, breaking the fast. After a full night s sleep, bodies have gone 8-10 hours without any nourishment. This is where the right fuel mix can really power us up! Breakfast is also a great opportunity to fit in some nutritious choices that may be harder to get later in the day. Even though time is often a challenge in the morning, breakfast needs to be a priority. Breakfast should contain carbohydrate, protein and fat for satiety and to maintain energy levels. Ideas: Whole grain bagel with cream cheese and fruit Whole grain toaster waffles with peanut butter, 1% milk and fruit Whole grain cereal topped with fruit and a cup of yogurt Whole grain pita stuffed with sliced hard cooked eggs Hot cereal topped with cinnamon Breakfast smoothie (low fat yogurt or milk, frozen fruit and teaspoon of bran or flax) Bran muffin with yogurt and berries Hummus on whole wheat pita and milk Nut butter on whole grain bagel with fresh fruit and low fat milk Light breakfast sandwiches Yogurt, fruit and granola parfait Vegetable omelet with whole grain toast Note: For breakfast cereals, choose one that has 3 grams of fiber or more and 8 grams of sugar or less per serving. Banana Energy Shake: 1 cup skim milk, 1 packet vanilla instant breakfast mix, 1 banana + ½ cup berries, ice. Blend together. (340 calories, 70 grams of carbohydrate, 15 grams of protein) Choco-nana Smoothie: 1 cup water, 1 banana, 2 tbsp low fat vanilla yogurt, 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, 1 tsp ground flaxseed, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder ( ¼ cup or ~ 110 calories), 6 to 8 ice cubes. Blend together. (370 calories, 15grams protein, 45 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber)

5 Snacks At Training Gymnasts at Gym America may bring a small, healthy snack to practice sessions. A snack at practice will help keep hunger at bay and provide some fuel. Please keep snacks modest and healthy and quick to grab and easy to eat as to not distract from practice sessions. Try to combine carbohydrates and protein together to create an energy stable snack for improved performance!. Great Snack Ideas: Mozzarella cheese stick and whole grain crackers Mini whole grain bagel with cream cheese or nut butter or all fruit spread Energy or protein bar. Try to stick with bars that have less than 10 grams of fat, and are less than 200 calories Trail mix made of dried fruit and nuts Half of a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread Whole grain pretzels, crackers and cereals. Small low sugar yogurt, frozen yogurt tubes (Stoneyfield) Multi-grain wheat thins or Kashi crackers topped with cheese or peanut butter for added protein Hard boiled egg Half tortilla roll up with hummus and turkey Try to avoid: Chips of any type. Goldfish, Cheese Nips, or any other types of crackers made with white, enriched flower. White Bagels and Breads. High Sugar Energy Bars Soda. This one's an absolute no! Cookies, candy, gummy bears, or anything else along those lines.

6 Eating For Recovery Eating fo r rec ove r y After exercise (especially intense exercise), muscles act like a sponge. The energy stores in muscle (called glycogen) must be replenished. Waiting two hours to eat after training can impair recovery and performance. Muscles are in repair mode and need to be supplied with the right fuel mix to help repair any damaged muscle and build further on the existing muscle. A carbohydrate food with some protein is ideal (ex. chocolate milk). Food should be consumed within 30 minutes after exercise. This likely means a power snack for the way home. Event Nutrition Pre event nutrition differs for everybody but in general a lighter meal 3-4 hours before competition is best with a variety of foods including carbohydrates and protein. Fats and meats tend to take longer to digest. If an athlete eats too closely to exercising, his or her body will be focused on digesting food and may not perform to the optimum level. The body needs time to transform food into energy that the muscles can use. The goal of pre event nutrition is to fuel muscles for the event without causing stomach upset. Carbohydrate foods are the best choices before an event because they digest quickly and are a ready fuel source. Allow 3-5 hours before competition for a large meal to digest, 2-3 hours for a smaller meal and 1-2 hours for a snack. For Day Long Events Having one event in the morning and the other in the afternoon can present a nutrition challenge. The night before should be a time to fuel really well. Carbohydrate snacks (the power food kind) should be brought to the event to keep blood sugar levels even and keep muscles full of energy. Examples are: pretzels, raisins, low fat puddings, bananas, applesauce, granola bars and low fat yogurts. Avoid simple sugars during the daylong events as when coupled with exercise they can cause significant blood sugar fluctuations. Hydration Water, water and more water!

7 Nut rition Red flags DID YOU KNOW? The number of college gymnasts who have engaged in disordered eating practices ranges from 51% to 62% according to the NCAA, a far higher percentage than in any other sport. These behaviors start now. The eating habits of one gymnast can often influence the rest of the group. Be alert for food fads and trends. Be on the lookout for dips in energy levels, weight changes, altered moods and frequent stress fractures or general repeat injuries. These are all signs of undernourishment. In female teen athletes, an energy deficit may be seen in the form of the Female Athlete Triad (Triad), which refers to the relationship between low energy availability (which may or may not be intentional), loss of menstrual periods, and bone loss. The health related consequences of the triad, such as osteoporosis, can be devastating and even end a young person s athletic career. (WINforum) What Parents Can Do: Please try to avoid giving athletes negative messages about food. Avoid saying You should not eat that food because it will make you overweight. Try no to classify foods as good or bad Try not to make athletes feel guilty about eating certain foods Remember that all foods can be part of a healthy diet Minimize focus on weight and body types. Instead, find a positive way to address proper nutrition by positioning food as a source of fuel and energy Be a good role model Help your gymnast by planning power snacks and meals through the week Please note that the information presented today and within these handouts are the recommendations of a Dietitian. These guidelines and suggestions should not replace medical advice given by your physician. All bodies are different and have different nutrition needs. For questions, please feel free to me at

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