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I have moved my blog to http://blog.nancyclarkrd.com.

 

Come visit that site for my newest blog posts!

 

Best regards,

Nancy

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When done well, your website will act as a strong foundation for your organization and can create an effective online presence that does your marketing for you. So, before another season begins, make sure your website looks clean and is up to date and organized for the best user experience. If your website is unclear or confusing, your online visitors will leave before they can learn about your organization or join it! 

 

Here are some areas you can quickly update to make your website a better place to visit: 

 

1. Update navigation labels. Update your site’s menu names so they are fresh and fun. Change your Home page to “Home Plate” or your Locations page to “Where it’s at!” Get creative and have fun with it! In your site admin, go to My Site Design>Labels.


2. Include pictures or videos on your Home Page. Parents and players LOVE to see photos of your organization in action. Some of the best looking and most visited eteamz sites include photos or videos on their home page. In your site admin, go to Website Pages>Home Page.

 

3. Take it easy. Rather than including everything under the sun on your home page, try to just fit the most valuable information above the fold of the home page (the part visitors can see without scrolling down), then use the News pages to add content to your site. In your site admin, go to Website Pages>My Site News (or Add a New Page).

  

4. Play around with color. Keeping with your organization's color theme is great – but how about dressing up your sites a little during the holidays? Or swap the background colors with the font colors? Keep it fresh and people won’t get bored with the same old thing. In your site admin, go to My Site Design>Customize.


5. Update calendar (and keep it up-to-date).  List important dates and/or create an online calendar that plots out all of your not-to-be missed registration deadlines, tournaments and more.  An up-to-date calendar, you make your site a relevant place for your participants to come to get important info about your organization In your site admin, go to Calendar>Click on Calendar to Add Events.

 

Login now to get started updating your site

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Given Christmas is right around the corner, you might be looking for a helpful present for a friend or teammate? Or, given the New Year is right around the corner, perhaps you want to give yourself the gift of higher energy and better athletic performance?

 

Below is my short list of nutrition resources that can make a difference in a person’s life.

 

Sports nutrition books

(Yes,some shameless self-promoting…)

Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, new 5th edition (Oct 2013).

Having sold over 550,000 copies since the release of the first edition, this easy-to-read resource is considered by many athletes to be their “nutrition bible.” It's comprehensive yet enjoyable—and even has a recipes for sports foods.


    You might also enjoy my sport-specific books that make useful gifts for friends, family and teammates:

•Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for Everyday Champions

•Food Guide for New Runners: Getting It Right From the Start

•Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros

•The Cyclist's Food Guide: Fueling for the Distance.


Other excellent sports nutrition books include:


Endurance Sports Nutrition,new 3rd Edition by Suzanne Gerard Eberle RD

Power Eating, new 4th edition, by Susan Kleiner RD

Vegetarian Sports Nutrition by Enette Larson-Meyer RD.

Diabetic Athlete's Handbook by Sherri Colberg

The Athlete's Guide to Sports Supplements by Kimberly Mueller RD and Josh Hingst


Books on Weight issues, Dieting, Eating Disorders


An estimated 30 to 60% of female athletes (as well as a smaller number of males) struggle with balancing food, weight, and exercise. If you or someone you know struggles with disordered eating patterns, let them know they are not alone and can benefit from these self-help books.


8 Keys to Recovery From an Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin

The Don't Diet, Live-It! Workbook: Healing Food, Weight and Body Issues by A. LoBue and M. Marcus.

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by E. Tribole RD and E. Resch RD.

The Exercise Balance: What's Too Much, Too Little, Just Right by P. Powers. and R. Thompson.

Making Weight: Healing Men's Conflicts with Food, Weight, Shape &Appearance by A. Anderson, L.Cohn & T. Holbrook

Body image: Body Image Workbook: An 8-Step Program for Learning to Like Your Looks by T. Cash.

Food and Feelings Workbook: A Full Course Meal on Emotional Health by K. Koenig.

Surviving an Eating Disorder: Perspectives and Strategies for Family & Friends by M. Siegel et al.

Your Overweight Child: Helping Without Harming by E. Satter

 

With best wishes for happy reading and a healthy 2014!

Nancy

 

PS. Many athletes would rather meet with a sports nutritionist in person than read a book. In that case, use the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org and create a gift certificate for a nutrition check-up!

1,498 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: nancy_clark, sports_nutrition_guidebook, sports_nutrition_books, sports_nutritionist_boston, holiday_gift_idea, gift_books

For athletes, Thanksgiving is a super day to take a day off from exercise, relax with family and friends, and to carbo-load. Your muscles will benefit from having time to refuel, recover, and heal. As we all know, rest is a very important part of a training schedule. 

 

The traditional Thanksgiving dinner offers the perfect combination of sports foods: abundant carbs (to fuel the muscles) and protein (to build and repair the muscles). The goal is consume three times more carbs than protein. Here is the line-up:

 

Carbs;
mashed potato
sweet potato
stuffing
squash
turnip
peas
cranberry sauce
stuffing
apple pie
pumpkin pie

 

Protein:
turkey!

 

By fueling well on Thanksgiving, your muscles will be ready to exercise hard on Friday. And when your workout is over and you are ready to refuel, why not enjoy a turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce, some fruit from the cornucopia, and leftover apple pie. Yum!

 

With best wishes for a pleasant time with family and friends,

Nancy

925 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: thanksgiving, nancy_clark, carbo-load, burn-off-calories

Nancy, here’s a question for you. Should my calorie intake fluctuate based on how much training I'm doing?  I usually do between 90 and 120 minutes a day, but sometimes I might do just a 45-minute workout.  Do I cut my calorie count proportionally?

 

Answer:

On days when you are doing less exercise you will likely want to eat just as much (or almost as much) because—

 

1) Your muscles are using any extra unburned calories to refuel your depleted glycogen stores from the previous days’ tiring workouts, and

 

2) You may be more active during the rest of your "light exercise" days. That is, observe if on your light days or rest days you decide to mow the lawn, vacuum the house, wash your car, and do lots of errands. That extra activity counts!

 

Your best bet is to listen to your body; it is your best calorie counter. If you are thinking about food and fighting the urge to eat, your body is saying it needs more fuel. When you eat something to resolve that hunger, observe if you--

--feel better,

--stop obsessing about food, and

--have interest in doing something other than fight off urges to eat.

 

I generally eat just as much on rest days. Sometimes by dinner I am not as hungry, so I eat a lighter dinner just because I don't want a heavy meal. I listen to my body and trust it can regulate an appropriate food intake. Perhaps you can experiment and observe ithat your body can also naturally regulate a proper intake? (It that seems too hard, you might want to meet with a sports dietitian who can help you eat intuitively. Use the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org.)

 

For more information:

The recovery chapter in Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook (2013)

3,592 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: taper, nancy_clark, hunger, appetite, rest_days

Looking for some comfort food to take the edge off of a tiring day? This recipe from the new fifth edition of my Sports Nutrition Guidebook will give you a “food hug” within the boundries of a healthy meal. Enjoy!

 

Light-yet-lively Mac & Cheese


I’ve lightened up his family favorite meal by adding diced cauliflower. No one will notice the difference, especially if you use small shells for the pasta. The cauliflower hides inside the shell.

 

Becausethis recipe includes chopping and grating, invite a friend or family member to help you cook. While you make the sauce, someone can grate the cheese, and another person can dice the cauliflower. The final result is a meal made with love.

 

If you don’t have time to bake the Mac & Cheese, skip those instructions. It tastes good right off the stove top!

 

2 cups (about half a box) of uncooked small pasta, such as small elbows or small shells

2 cups finely diced cauliflower

2 cups milk

3 tablespoons flour

¼ tsp dry mustard

¼ tsp garlic powder

dash cayenne

salt, pepper to taste

5 ounces shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

Optional: 2 tablespoons lowfat cream cheese

 

1.Fill a pasta pot with water and to a boil. While the water is heating, dice the cauliflower into small pieces.

2.Add the pasta to the boiling water, cook for about five minutes, and then add the diced cauliflower. Drain when the pasta and cauliflower are tender, in about 4 or 5 minutes.

3. In a large saucepan, wisk together the flour and milk, place over medium-high heatand bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

4.Add the mustard, garlic powder, cayenne, (lowfat cream cheese), salt and pepper; mix well.

5.Add the grated cheddar cheese, stirring until melted.

6.Add the pasta and cauliflower.

7.Enjoy eating it as is, or pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 baking pan that has been treated with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly.

 

Yield: 5 servings (as side dish)

Nutrition Information

Total calories: 1,250

Calories per serving: 250 (1/5th of recipe)

43 g carbohydrate

11 g protein

4 g fat

 

Reprinted with permission from Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 5th Edition (2013)

1,060 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: recipe, nancy_clark, sports_nutrition_guidebook, comfort_food, macaroni_and_cheese, mac_n_cheese, sports_food

Nancy, I can’t believe you recommend chocolate milk as a good recovery food for athletes after a hard workout. It’s filled with refined sugar!!!!


My response: Yes, chocolate milk (or any flavored milk, for that matter) contains added sugar. For hard-working athletes, sugar is a form of carbohydrate that refuels depleted muscles and feeds the brain. Like the sugar in bananas and oranges, the sugar in chocolate milk comes alongwith a plethora of nutritional benefits. That makes chocolate milk a better option that chugging a sports drink that offers just empty calories.


A reasonable guideline for an athlete is to limit refined sugar intake to no more than 10% of daily calories. That equates to about 200 to 300 calories a day. The sweaty, tired athlete who recovers with a quart of Gatorade consumes 200 calories of refined sugar— and misses out on positive nutritional benefits that could have been provided by chocolate milk. 


Despite chocolate milk's sugar content, the beverage remains nutrient-dense. When athletes refuel with chocolate milk, they get not just sugar that fuels their muscles, but also:

--high quality protein that builds and repairs muscles

--calcium that strengthens bones

--vitamin D that enhances calcium absorption

--sodium that helps with fluid retention and replaces sodium lost in sweat

--potassium that replaces sweat losses and helps maintain lowblood pressure

--B-vitamins such as riboflavin, that help convert food into energy

--water that replaces fluid lost with sweat

--a desirable balance of carbohydrate and protein. (The muscles recover will with three times more carbs than protein.)


I invite you to pay more attention to the nutritional value of the whole beverage rather than just the added sugar. Chocolate milk offers far more nutrients than the sports drinks that athletes commonly chug after a hard workout. Those sports drinks, as well as other commercial  “sports foods” (gels, chomps, sports beans, sports candies), receive little public criticism yet are generally 100% refined sugar with minimal, if any, nutritional benefits. In my opinion, those engineered sports foods are the bigger nutritional concern than the 40 to 50 calories of sugar added to 8-ounces of chocolate milk.

 

 

Peace,

Nancy

 

PS. Yes, a "perfect diet" would have no refined sugar .. but who said an athlete needs to eat a perfect diet to have a good diet?

For more information on how to choose a balanced sports diet, please enjoy the new 5th edition of my Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

2,866 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: athletes, recovery, nancy_clark, chocolate_milk, sugar, refine_sugar, post-exercise_food, sports_nutrition+guidebook


This  event is specifically for women runners over 40.  My talk takes place Monday Nov 18 from 12-1:00 EST; see the list below of others speakers on other days. This is a free opportunity to get running advice from renowned experts so you can discover how to:

  • Deal effectively with the particular challenges that women runners face in their 40s,50s, 60s and 70s.
  • Prevent and treat injuries so you can avoid frustrating layoffs that derail your progress
  • Practice optimal nutrition for performance and maintaining your ideal weight

 

  • Train more efficiently and effectively so that you can improve your running without spending extra precious time

 

“Run Faster, Further andInjury-Free for Years to Come”

Free Women’s RunningTelesummit

 

Monday, November 18, 2013 – Thursday, November 21,2013

 

What an incredible roster of experts.  Benefit from the knowledge and experience of:

           

     • Kathrine Switzer

  • Jeff Galloway
  • Jenny Hadfield
  • Donna Deegan
  • Amanda Loudin
  • Bennett Cohen
  • and me

 

as we discuss many areas of vital importance to woman runners over 40 so that you can run faster, furtherand injury-free.

 

Registration is free!

 

Click on http://bit.ly/Huaen6 for details and to register.

 

Hope you can join me.

 

Nancy

www.nancyclarkrd.com

 


902 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: nancy_clark, telesummit, women_weight_exercise

When you are exercising for more than 60-90 minutes, you want to consume quickly absorbed carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable throughout your run. Many marathoners are confused about what to eat during long runs. The following tips can help you fuel wisely and avoid from hitting the wall. (Remember that it’s important to experiment with fueling during long training runs to avoid any race-day surprises!)

 

-- How can you tell when you should eat during long runs? Pay attention to your body’s requests for fuel: mood-change, thoughts about food, reduced energy, tired legs, slower running…

 

--The amount of carbohydrates needed will vary from person to person (body size, speed, intensity, and training will all effect this), but aim for between 150-300 calories of carbohydrates per hour. This can be from a mix of sports drinks like Gatorade to foods like Gu, candy, or dried fruit.

 

--Most runners start consuming carbohydrates (sports drink) beginning at 45 minutes to an hour into the race. Breakfast fuels the start of the run.

 

--If you are a slow runner, vary your food choices to reduce "flavor fatigue" for 4+ hours. It’s easy to get through a half marathon relying only on gels, but it’s difficult to keep that up for twice the time. You’re likely to get “sugared out,” meaning your taste buds or stomach may not tolerate the same food for that many hours. Experiment with a few different options during longer training runs to see what your stomach and GI tract tolerate and what gives your body the most energy.

 

--Convenience is the big advantage to engineered sports foods such as Gu, Chomps, Sport Beans, and the like. Most come in pre-packaged 100-calorie servings, and they are easy to carry with you. However, real food can work just as well, particularly for slower marathoners who will be pounding the pavement for more than four hours.

 

Here are some common choices among runners:

-       Raisins,dates, dried cranberries—or any dried fruit

-       Swedish fish, jelly beans, gummy bears, or other chewy candy

-       Pretzels, fig cookies

-       Dried cereal

-       Mini peanut butter and jelly (or honey) sandwiches*

-       Banana*

-       

-       *If you prefer snacks that aren’t convenient to carry in your pocket, ask friends or family to stand along your race-day route at points when you know you will need fuel.

 

--Gatorade or other sports drinks contribute to your carbohydrate intake. Just pay attention to how much you are consuming so you can adjust your food intake. Diluted fruit juice can work well for some too.

 

For more information:

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for Everyday Champions

 

Co-written with student, blogger and runner Sarah Gold.

2,427 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marathon, nancy_clark, fueling_during_exercise, what_to_eat_during_marathon

Marathon excitement is in the air! If you are one of the nervous runners, here’s a basic nutrition tip to help you prepare for the 26.2-mile event:

Carbo-load, don't fat-load!

 

To their dismay, many runners confuse high fat foods and high carb foods. They fat load. Fat does not get stored in your muscles as glycogen (the fuel needed to prevent you from “hitting the wall”). Only carbs get stored in your muscles as glycogen.

 

Carbohydrate-rich foods include:

Hot and cold cereals

Fruits- bananas, grapes, raisins, and all fresh and dried fruits and juices

Breads, bagels, crackers – whole grain, so you don’t get constipated

Rice, noodles, stuffing

Pasta with tomato sauce (not cheese sauces)

Quinoa, lentils, beans – but be careful of getting too much fiber…

Baked or boiled (sweet) potatoes (without lots of butter)

Vegetables, particularly carrots, peas, beets, corn, and winter squash

 

Lower carbohydrate, high fat choices that may taste great,fill your stomach but leave your muscles unfueled include:

Donuts, croissants, and other buttery pastries

Fettuccini Alfredo

Lasagna oozing with cheese and meat,

Pizza glistening with pepperoni grease

Cookies, cakes

Ice cream

 

Eat wisely and run well!

Nancy

 

For more information:

Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for EverydayChampions

Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

872 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marathon, fat, nancy_clark, carbohydrate, carbo-load, what_to_eat_before_a_marathon, food_for_marathoners

To listen to my clients talk, I’m left wondering if food is addictive:

 

“I don’t do cookies; I eat too many of them.”

“I stay away from M&M’s otherwise I’ll eat the whole bagful.”

“I’m addicted to french fries…I eat them uncontrollably”.

 

If clients have addictive-like patterns of overeating, does that mean food is addictive?

 

The topic of whether or not food addiction is a real disorder was addressed at the 26th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress. According to Dr. Dickson, a Swedish neuroscientist, "Food consumption, unlike alcohol, cocaine, or gambling, is necessary for survival. But we don't completely understand why certain vulnerable individuals become addicted, transferring something rewarding to [something they become addicted to.] For drugs, it's much easier to separate what's going on,"

 

"The evidence itself is insufficient to support the idea that food addiction is a mental disorder. We do not have a clinical syndrome of food addiction so far, and it is very important to establish the validity of a condition before putting it forward for inclusion in the [diagnostic manual for mental disorders]."

 

"In man, there is no solid evidence that any food, ingredient, combination of ingredients, or additive (with the exception ofcaffeine) causes us to become addicted to it. That is different from drugs, which we know engage the brain and cause us to become addicted to them," she explained. "Still, if we move away from food and concentrate on the individual, we can see that certain obese individuals express addiction-like behaviors."

 

Hisham Ziauddeen, PhD of University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, notes that although the idea of food addiction is appealing, there is little evidence so far showing that it exists in humans. "It is a very important idea to explore, but it is essential that we have sufficient research to conclusively support it.

 

Source: Medscape Medical News (c) 2013 WebMD, LLC http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/812650?src=wnl_edit_medn_wir

 

What I have seen in my clients who describe themselves as being addicted to food is they become too hungry. The physiological response to extreme hunger is to over-eat. Perhaps a simple solution to perceived food addiction is a heartier breakfast?

 

For more information on how to stay in control of food:

the chapters on snack attacks, weight management and dieting gone awry in the new 2013 edition of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

769 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: chocolate, snacks, overeating, food_addiction, binge-eating, addictive_behaviors, is_food_addictive

Football Sunday can take it’s toll on your waistline. If you have trouble over indulging in “football food,” enjoy this yummy-yet-healthy recipe for oven-fried chicken. It's one of many crowd pleasers from the new 5th edition of my SportsNutrition Guidebook.

For best results, bake  the chicken on a wire rack; this allows air to circulate on all sides and you’ll get crisper chicken. Plus, you won’t have to turn it during cooking. Meanwhile, the foil pan lining speeds your clean-up time.

1 box (5 ounces) Melba toast

2 to 4 tablespoons olive or canola oil

2 egg whites or 1 egg

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Optional: 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard; salt and pepper as desired

       1.             Heat oven to 400 °F (200 °C).

       2.             Place a wire rack in a shallow baking pan lined with foil.

       3.             Add the Melba toast to a heavy-duty plastic bag, seal, and crush with a rolling pin (or other hard object) into crumbs, leaving some crumbs as large as small corn kernels.

       4.             Pour the crumbs into a shallow dish and drizzle the oil over them. Toss well to distribute the oil evenly.

       5.             Beat the egg in a medium bowl. Add mustard, salt, and pepper if desired.

       6.             Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, allow excess to drip off, and then place each coated breast in the crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the chicken and press them in. Shake off excess crumbs and place the chicken on the rack.

       7.             Bake for 40 minutes. The coating should be deep brown and the juices should run clear when the meat is cut.

Yield: 4 servings for a main course


Nutrition Information?1,200 total calories; 300 calories per serving; 12 g carbohydrate; 40 g protein; 10 g fat

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, May/June 1999.

For more family-friendly sports recipes: Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 5th Edition (2013)

440 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: gain_weight, fried_chicken, football_food, football_sunday, nancy_clark's_sports_nutrition_guidebook_fifth_edition

My best-selling (550,000+ copies) Sports Nutrition Guidebook is now available in a new Fifth Edition!!! The mission of the new edition is to create clear and simple solutions to your food challenges.

 

This Sports Nutrition Guidebook is fast-reading, entertaining, and filled with real-life stories. If you are not a “reader” (or have “no time” to read), that’s not a reason to overlook this book. It is well indexed so you can simply look up a specific topic and find practical tips and food information that resolves your food and fueling questions. Simply leave the book on your kitchen counter and use it as a resource! You might even end up making some of the yummy recipes!

 

If you have already enjoyed one of the first four editions of this book, why would you want to buy this new fifth edition?

Why? The Fifth Edition offers the cumulative wisdom gained during 35 years of being an effective “food and weight coach” for both casual exercisers and competitive athletes. Just maybe the information will help you resolve the barriers that block you from getting what you want from your current diet and teach you how to enjoy more energy, lose undesired body fat, and have more fun.

 

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook has four sections:

1. Day-to-Day Eating on the Run

2. Sports Nutrition: Fueling for Success

3. Weight Management Tactics / Tips to Resolve Diets Gone Awry

4. Simple Recipes for non-chefs and active families

 

In the information-packed pages, you’ll get the tools you need to resolve your food, weight, and energy problems—as well as take your performance to the next level. When ordering, think about adding a few extra copies for your active family members, friends and teammates. What better gift than practical solutions to the challenges of our daily food environment?! Plus, everyone loves the quick-and-easy recipes that are family-friendly!

 

With best wishes for high energy, good health and improved performance,

 

Nancy

Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD

For more information:  www.nancyclarkrd.com

1,012 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: sports, nutrition, nancy_clark's_sports_nutrition_guidebook, fifth_edition, new_book

A new client (an avid exerciser) came into my office reporting her parents “highly encouraged” her to come see me. She wasted no time telling me, “I already know all about nutrition. I know what to eat and I eat very healthfully. I’m just not sure what you can teach me.”

 

Her thoughts are common; many active people are already healthy eaters. They have no idea how a sports nutritionist can help them. (More correctly, how a sports dietitian who is both a registered dietitian (RD) and a board certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD) can help them.) You may have had the same thoughts?

 

Unfortunately, you don’t know what you don’t know. Athletes who have never met with an RD CSSD just don’t know how valuable a personalized consult can be to help take them to the next level. Performance, after all, actually starts with fueling—and not with training.

 

If you are putting hours of effort into training, you might want to learn how to overcome the food and weight barriers that hinder you from getting the most from your workouts. Overly-compulsively exercisers can also learn how to find a better balance of food and exercise. They can then find peace both with food and with their bodies--and enjoy better quality of life.

 

After we’d talked for 90 minutes, my “reluctant client” reported, much to her surprise, the meeting had actually been very helpful. She left my office with a plan that could enhance her daily eating, diminish her food obsessions, and start to resolve her weight issues. She felt happier.

 

To find a local sports dietitian (RD, CSSD), please check out the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org.You just might be glad you did!

 

Best wishes

Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD

 

For a sports nutrition resource:

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook NEW 5thEdition (October 2013)

1,976 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: sports_nutrition, scan, rd, nutrition_consult, rd_cssd, local_sports_dietitian, nutrition_check-up

Below is a letter I received from a soccer coach whose team has embraced proper fueling as a way to get to the winners’ circle.  I hope it will inspire you to get your team on the Good Nutrition Bandwagon! After all, performance starts with fueling, not training!

 

Dear Nancy,
I wanted to give you an update on what's happening with our boys’ high school soccer team. Inspired by your Food Guide For Soccer, we've slowly gone from giving only very basic nutrition advice other than "hydrate and eat carbs" to a full fledged nutrition "battle plan.”

 

Pre-season, the head coach asked if I would talk to the players on nutrition, explaining he wanted to make nutrition education a big part of this years’ season.  I agreed and have talked to the players, sometimes several times a week. The information I give them comes almost exclusively from your Food Guide for Soccer, Sports Nutrition Guidebook, website, and other articles you have written. The players are being taught, to the best of our ability, the what, when's and why's of nutrition and how it impacts them and their game.

Our official high school season began on Aug 31 with two games against two very tough opponents.  We ended the day with two wins.  3-0 and 5-0. We are about half way through our regular season with a record of 7 wins, 1 tie and two losses.  We are one game away from first place in our division and the team has their sights set on a county championship as well as a district and state title.

The players are engaged and believe in the nutrition improvement effort.They've felt and seen the results and most (dare I say all?) of them get it.  I had to chuckle as some of the boys told me that about a half hour before their first game this season they saw most of the opposing team line up at the snack bar and walk away eating hot dogs, burgers and fried chicken.  Our nutrition guide (something I prepare for each game) for that game advised them to avoid those items. We offered them alternatives.  Fresh fruit, thick-crust pizza, soft pretzels, and a choice of chocolate milk, water or sports drinks.  We beat the opposing team 5-0.  First time in 3 years!

For critical evening games, we'll often keep them at school and feed them before they board the bus at 4:30. They have all trained their bodies to accept pre- and mid-game fueling. We've just started to include an additional "emergency" bag of gummies to be used if we find ourselves in overtime situations. We offer them low fat chocolate milk within 15-20 minutes of the end of each game.  They all enjoy it and they all know WHAT it's doing for them. They've made their water bottle their best friend. This season, leg cramps are extremely rare. 

I keep reinforcing my doubt that any team we face will be as well prepared nutritionally. While some teams we'll face may be technically better, most of them will hit the wall by half time.  The “good nutrition advantage,” as you know, is both physical and psychological. That's powerful.

 

The players now consider proper fueling to be their secret weapon.  The gummy bear bag is passed around discretely during halftime and the post game refueling never takes place within view of the opposing team.  FUNNY!  It shows me they believe!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the helpful information in your books!

With appreciation,

A happy high school soccer-nutrition coach

921 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: soccer, nancy_clark, winning_nutrition, pre-game_eating, recovery_nutrition, win_with_good_nutrition