Update: Nutritional seminar #2 was a success! Thank you to all who came out and listened to me speak. I hope you enjoyed hearing what I had to say as much as I enjoyed sharing my knowledge with you all. Educating is truly one of my desires and I relish every chance I get to share what I know with others. The feedback I receive from events like this only inspires me to provide more events. So, without further adue, a give you the seminar recap. I originally wrote this post after the first seminar, but it contains nearly the same information that the second seminar did. I have added a few points that were brought up in the second seminar. Basically, it’s the best of both worlds. Enjoy! – Steve
Last night marked the beginning of something special for me. I have always valued the notion of learning, and through my many years of school have developed a strong passion for teaching. Last night I held a nutritional seminar, the first of many nutrition based, and other topics related to performance, seminars. My goal with the seminar was to teach high school athletes the basics of eating correctly in order to accommodate the physical demands of a long and grueling hockey season. In this post I want to highlight a few of the takeaway points from the seminar, as well as answer some questions I received last night. Furthermore, I have created a recipe book that is available for download at the bottom of this post. The recipes included in the book were selected or designed because they provide a high quality of nutrients needed to support high performance.
Take Away Points
- The first two hours after exercise are the most important for eating. Make sure to get your carbohydrates and protein within the first two hours.
- Pregame meals are equally as important as post game meals. A medium sized meal should be consumed about 4 hours before a game, and then a snack can be consumed 1.5 to 2 hours before.
- Eating enough food is hard, and varies by your size and activity level.
- 3500 Calories may be more food than you think.
I received a lot of questions at the seminar, and most of them pertained to eating around game day. Here are a few of them.
Q: Whats the best thing to eat to recover after a game or practice?
A: Eating after a practice or game, or even a workout for that matter, is going to look relatively the same. The only difference will come in the amount of food. The meal should include mainly protein and carbohydrates, and be limited in the amount of fat it contains. Protein can come from any source, but animal sources are preferable due to the amino acid profiles. Non-animal sources such as pea protein, chick pea protein, and quinoa protein are good options as well. The protein can be eaten as a solid food or consumed as a liquid in a protein shake. Either form will work, however liquid form is more popular due to its convenience and ease of consumption immediately following a strenuous event. Shoot for getting 20g immediately post event, and continue to consume small amounts of protein for the next 4 hours. The carbohydrates can come from any source, as long as the source is not overly fatty. Getting carbohydrates from a variety of sources is helpful because it speeds up digestion and absorption of the nutrients; i.e. your body will recover quicker and more efficiently. Try and get your carbohydrates in liquid form as a sports drink or milk right after the event, and then switch to solid foods such as rice, bread, pasta, and potatoes somewhere 90 min to 4 hours after the event. Eat enough carbs to fill you up every hour or two after the event. After the 4 hour window, taking in fats is okay and should be done to increase recovery. The amount of food you eat is dependent on the intensity of the event. The higher the intensity, the bigger the meal. Pro tip: A good way to get both carbohydrates and protein after an event is to add powdered sports drink to your protein shake. Vanilla protein and orange gatorade work very well together, both with milk or water.
Q: What are the best foods to eat on game day?
A: Eating prior to a game is extremely important because it is providing your body with the fuel necessary to perform. The foods eaten should provide a wide spectrum of protein and carbohydrates from a variety of sources. They should not be overly heavy, meaning that fats, dairy, and at times glutenous foods, should be avoided. Find meals that are light and packed with nutrients, such as rice and quinoa dishes without sauce, and pasta dishes with a small amount of tomato based sauce. Foods that contain a cream based sauce, like alfredo and many curry dishes, should be avoided due to the fat content. Eat enough food 4 to 6 hours before the game so that you feel satisfied, but are not overly full. The day of the game is not the time to overeat and load up on carbs, that should be done steadily throughout the week.
Q: What is a good pregame snack?
A: Pregame snacks should be small, light, and be mostly carbohydrates with a little bit of protein. Trail mix, granola bars, peanut butter and jelly (or honey, my personal favorite) sandwiches, and fruits are all acceptable pregame snacks that will provide a decent amount of quick carbohydrates the body can use for energy. Sports drinks are acceptable as well, especially if they have branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) in them. Keep in mind that this meal is a snack, and should be treated as such. Small quantities are desired here so that they do not disrupt the stomach during the game. Aim to eat this snack 60 to 90 minutes prior to game time.
Q: Is milk good to drink after a workout?
A: ABSOLUTELY! Milk is a fantastic source. Whether it is better than a protein shake, I am not at liberty to say, but it is definitely not worse than a protein shake. Milk is high in protein, has a good amount of carbohydrates, contains essential vitamins and minerals, and as an added bonus, it’s a natural source of protein.
My recipe book, You Are What You Eat, available for download.
In case you missed the presentation last night, catch up with my outline. Get it here: Kale Is Good For You
If you attended the seminar, please let me know of any feedback you may have!