Now that the weather is cooler, many athletes are ramping up their training for Fall endurance events such as a marathon, century bike ride,or tennis tournament. If you feel confused about how to maintain energy during extended exercise, use this handy guide as a tool to figure out your target intake. Because each person’s body responds differently to food during exercise, experiment during training, observe the benefits (or costs), and tweak accordingly!
A pre-exercise meal (oatmeal) or snack (banana) will do the job to keep you adequately fueled during the workout
Exercise 1-2.5 hours
30 to 60 grams carb/hour
Consume 120 to 240 calories of carbs in the form of sports drinks, gummy candy, gels, dried pineapple, banana, and other commercial or standard foods
Exercise >2.5 hours
60 to 90 grams carb/hour
For long events like an 100 mile bike ride, Ironman triathlon, or trail run, target 240 to 360 calories per hour from a variety of carbohydrates, including fruit, chocolate bars, and cookies, as tolerated.
To avoid “flavor fatigue”, include not only sugary sweets (sports drinks, candies and gels) but also peanut butter and honey sandwiches, beef jerky, granola bars, chicken broth, cheese sticks, and other foods that offer savory and salty flavors. Be sure to experiment during training to figure out what you can tolerate!
Fuel wisely and have fun. There's no need to hit the wall!
If you are a soccer player or soccer parent, here’s information about my newest book, Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros,co-authored with Gloria Averbuch.
New Book Offers Recipes for Soccer Success
A review written by Margo Consul for Active.com
With spring soccer season just around the corner for kids and families, Nancy Clark and Gloria Averbuch’s “Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros” is a great way to keep players energized for the game and healthy at the same time.
Players from Women's Professional Soccer offer up their favorite recipes to provide young athletes with easy and tasty meals to help them follow a healthy diet.
The book provides eating tips for before, during and after a practice or a game. In addition there are sections on how to bulk up or to get lean and lighter, like a professional soccer player might do.
"It's a combination of insightful and sensible nutrition from players from different cultures," Averbuch said.
WPS has a large international base as players hail from all over the globe, including Europe, South America, Australia and Canada. Some of the players added their own cultural twist to some traditional favorites like hamburgers or fried rice.
"It's fun to see what Natasha Kai eats in Hawaii and what Marta eats from Brazil," Averbuch said. "If someone is a professional athlete and is eating this, then you know it's good for you, too."
One of the more surprising foods that is mentioned throughout the book is chocolate.
Yael Averbuch of Sky Blue FC -- Gloria's daughter--takes chocolate milk to replenish her muscles after every practice.
"Chocolate milk is a pleasing taste and you certainly want to drink what is better for you so you get an instant hit from the sweet chocolate and you get the protein and the specialty ingredients that are found to be in milk that are helpful," Gloria Averbuch said.
Yael also enjoys taking dark chocolate and pairing it with peanut butter for a high energy snack, which is exciting for anyone who has a bit of a sweet tooth.
Other recipes from popular soccer stars and WPS teams include Brandi Chastain's avocado salad, Abby Wambach's date bars, Kristine Lilly's chicken with mushrooms & roasted potatoes and Marta's signature lasagna.
Averbuch hopes that readers will take away the three major principles from the book:
You need to eat sensibly and sufficiently to support your activity and your lifestyle as young and growing person.
Eating is for fuel and is pleasurable. It's an activity you can share with family and teammates and you shouldn't beat yourself up over eating, because you need to eat.
Understand the principles of good nutrition by whole food and not by fads.
"My co-author Nancy (Clark) is really big on getting your nutrients from whole foods as opposed to what she calls engineered foods, those are your gels and your PowerBars--which are fine to supplement, but not all the time," Averbauch said. "A lot people think you can drink protein drinks or drink powders or a shake or a bar but it's not really what we want people to learn. We want them to learn a good diet from whole foods, foods that you find in their original form."
Although the tips come from a soccer perspective, Averbuch says that this guide is applicable to any active youth sport or youth with an active lifestyle. She hopes this book teaches young athletes good eating habits early so they can achieve their highest potential.
"It's an education for the sport and for the activity, but it's also an education about life. How do young people prepare themselves, you do it by practice."
Averbuch has previously written 12 books on sports, soccer, health and fitness. Her co-author Nancy Clark MS RD, is a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, with a private practice at Healthworks in Chestnut Hill, Mass. She is also the nutrition consultant for the Boston Breakers of WPS.
The Food Guide for Soccer is available on line at Amazon.com and NancyClarkRD.com.
Ever wonder about what's best to eat before, during or after exercise?
Want information on how to resove disordered eating patterns and a negative relationship with food?
Are you trying to bulk up and want to figure out the best way to gain muscsle?
Here’s your chance to learn from two internationally known experts at this intensive workshop on Nutrition & Exercise.
Sports nutritionist Nancy Clark MS, RD is renowned for her work with counseling athletes/exercisers.
Exercise physiologist William Evans PhD for his research with protein, weight, and aging.
They will be offering a 1.5 day program that is designed to help coaches, athletic trainers, exercise physiologists, sports nutritionists, sports medicine professionals as well as athletes themselves find answers to their questions about--
-eating for health, enhanced performance and longevity
Hey Nancy, Im running my first marathon tomorrow. What should I be eating? asked the young man at the running store where I was giving a nutrition clinic.
Questions like that always stun me. This runner hadnt thought much about nutrition, to say nothing about the importance of training his intestinal tract, as well as the heart, lungs and muscles. He was missing an essential part of a training program! If a marathoner cannot train his intestinal track to tolerate fuel in some form before and during a marathon, he or she will be more likely to hit the wall..
As I discuss thoroughly in my Food Guide for Marathoners; Tips for Everyday Champions, runners need to fuel well the day before with a diet baed on carbs (pasta, rice, fruits, breads, vegetables). The day of the marathon, the runner wants to enjoy a tried-and-true breakfast (so as to avoid losing time in the porta-potty line), and then consume about 200 to 300 calories per hour after the first 60 to 90 minutes. The strategy shold be to practice this during training, so the day before the marathon, you have no need to worry about what to eat to enjoy going the distance.
We’ve had a streak of hot weather here in Boston, and most endurance athletes aren’t use to it yet. Be sure to not only drink enough fluids during exercise but also add a little sodium to your pre-exercise stint in the heat if you plan to be outside for a while. The sodium helps retain the fluids in your body (as oposed to have them go in one end and out the other) and can help delay dehydration and enhance your endurance. While on a daily basis you want to monitor your sodium intake, a little extra before hot weather exercise can be a wise choice.
Some possible choices are chicken noodle soup (or any canned brothy soup), V-8 juice, salted pretzels, pickles, ham and cheese sandwich with mustard – or any salted/salty food, before you go. This will be a change in eating patterns for health-conscious endurance athletes who cook their oatmeal without salt, rarely eat canned or processed foods, and have no salt shaker on the table.
You might lose 800 to 1,000 mg sodium per pound of sweat. (Weigh yourself pre and post exercise to figure our how many pounds of sweat you lose in an hour.) While you need not get obsessed about replacing sodium milligram for milligram, reading food labels can give you a frame of reference regarding how much you replace via foods. For example--
A quart of Gatorade offers 440 mg sodium
A can of chicken noodle soup offers 2,350 mg
Eight ounces of rrange juice has only 5 mg
Generally, if you crave salt, you should eat salt. The chapter on Repalcing Sweat Losses in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook offers more information. (See www.nancyclarkrd.com)
When I counsel either casual exercisers or competitive athletes, I ask them what they typically eat in a day. I then do a more thorough food intake, gathering details of all that they eat, More often then not, they “try to stay away from” bagels, crackers, pasta, juice, bananas, and other “carbs.” I ask them “Why?” With embarrassment, they mumble, “Because they’re fattening.” The athletes know in their intelligent minds this is not true, but somehow they have fallen victim to fad diets.
If you are among those who “try to stay away from carbs”, think again. Remember that carbs are NOT fattening (excess calories are fattening) and that carbs (such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables) should be the foundation of each meal because they fuel your workouts. I invite you to enjoy whole grain bagels, sandwiches, and pasta – and also enjoy higher energy during your workouts.
Do you really want to never enjoy potato or pasta again.....???
For more information about carbs/weight, please read the chapter on how to lose weight and have energy to exercise in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook (www.nancyclarkrd.com).
Yesterday I received a phone call from a writer for Backpacker magazine. He talked about “dieters’ hikes” (sort of like “fat camps”) for people who want to lose undesired body fat. He participated in one of the hikes, and said he lost weight — that is, until he returned to civilization and immediately stuffed himself with an over-sized Mexican dinner.
While he raved about the dieters’ hike, I reminded him losing weight is just part of the process. Dieters have to keep the weight off—and that means learning how to manage the American Food Supply, not just be denied and deprived while restricted to the wilderness.
The bottom line is: If you want to lose undesired body fat, please think about learning how to EAT, instead of embarking on a food program you really don’t want to maintain for the rest of your life. (Do you really want to never eat bagels, potato, or pasta for the rest of your life?)
Your best bet if to get personalized nutrition advice from a board certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD). You can find your local sports nutrition expert by using the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org.
Sports dietitians are an under-utilized coach. You’ll wish you hadn’t waited so long for profesional food help. You can also find helpful information in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook (2008; www.nancyclarkrd.com )