The Fit Female Athlete Presented by Jennifer Kienlen, RN, CNRN Sports Nutrition Studies for High School Athletes • Increase in competitiveness of HS sports has lead to an increased # of studies looking at the unique nutritional needs of HS athletes • Growth & development as well as gender difference focus of research • Nutritional knowledge is often based on myth, not science • Nutrition information comes from sources other than the experts Energy = Performance • In order to take your athletic abilities to the highest level your body must have energy! • HS students juggle incredibly hectic schedules and must be prepared to take on the responsibility to provide their bodies with energy in order to make it through training, competition and recovery periods. • Knowledge, planning, and preparation become one of the key pieces of athletic training if peak performance is to be achieved • Timing of meals & snacks can improve performance and stamina • Food choices + hydration + rest + life balance = Energy Energy Sources: Carbs • • • • Stored as glycogen Preferred immediate energy source Carbs provide the energy to fuel muscle contractions Carbs provide energy more rapidly to working muscles than proteins or fats • Timing of carb intake does not differ between genders Energy Sources • Carbohydrates (CHO) • Protein • Fats (Fatty acids/triglycerides) Energy Sources: Simple Carbs • Choose wisely!! • One source is likely to be stored as fat when taken in too large of quantities or when immediate glucose is not needed and does not provide nutrients, vitamins, or minerals Energy Sources: Complex Carbs • The other choices help to provide needed micronutrients, vitamins and minerals while providing an energy source for muscles and the brain Counting Carbs • 1 serving = 15 gms of carbs • Serving size depends on the food choice • • • • • • • • • • 1 slice whole grain bread 1 tortilla 1/3 cup of cooked pasta ¼ bagel (whole bagel = 60gms carbs) ½ cup starchy vegetable (potato, corn, peas) ½ banana 15-20 grapes ½ c cooked green beans ½ c cooked plain oatmeal 6 oz (3/4 c) light fruit yogurt (Yoplait Light) Energy Stores in the Female Body • Research shows hormonal cycles impacts metabolism • Estrogen appears to boost the body’s ability to restore muscle glycogen stores • Caloric intake that is typically restricted in the female athlete typically leads to profound protein breakdown and negative energy balance • Chronically low caloric intake is not fixed by pre-game carbloading • Studies show that female athletes need increased intake of iron, folic acid, calcium and Vit D Energy Sources: Protein • Proteins provide the body with the amino acids needed to make and maintain tissues (muscle, bone, tendons, hair, skin) • Often mistaken by athletes as the primary source of energy needed for strength or endurance training • Not a primary source of fuel for muscles • Timing of protein intake is essential to recovery and muscle repair • There is a limit on protein synthesis that can occur at any given time in the body • If protein intake is too high, the by-products of protein breakdown can lead to dehydration, ketone build up and kidney disease Energy Sources: Protein • Strength training athletes need approx 1.4-1.8 gms/kg (2.2 #s) of protein a day (75kg=165#= 105-135 gms/protein/day) • Endurance training athletes need approx 1.2-1.4 gms/kg of protein a day (75kg=165#= 90-105gms/protein/day) How much protein is in that? • 3 oz (about the size of your palm) serving of either fish, chicken, turkey or beef = 21 gms of protein • Milk, 8 oz = 8 grams • Tofu, 3 oz = 15 grams • Yogurt, 8 oz = 8 grams • Cheese, 3 oz = 21 grams • Peanut butter, 2 tbsp = 8 grams • Eggs, 2 large = 13 grams • Nuts, 1 oz = 6-8 grams • Pumpkin seeds, 1 oz = 8 grams Energy Sources: Fat • Dietary fat gets blamed for many different health problems, but it is an essential nutrient for optimal health, strength and endurance • Essential fatty acids provide muscle energy for low-intensity activity or prolonged exercise • Types • Saturated: Solid at room temp; high intake leads to heart disease; limit to no more than 10% of total daily calorie intake • Unsaturated: Liquid at room temp; typically from plant sources; reduce cholesterol and heart disease; many health benefits • Trans fat: When unsat fat is created to be solid at room temp; intake should be very limited due to increased health risks Energy Sources: Fat • Saturated and Trans Fats: Hard to stay away from because they taste good; some saturated fats are good sources of protein • Watch for trans fats in packaged foods, fast foods, frozen dinners • If you must indulge: limit intake of trans fats found in fast foods, candy bars, fried foods, pizza, cheeseburgers, etc to ONCE A WEEK! Fueling the body • What you eat affects not only your performance, but your overall health • In order to be the best you have to eat differently than the rest • Poor nutrition and poor hydration lead to prolonged poor performance, fatigue, weight loss and long term health problems • What you eat is as important as when you eat • Training, Competition and Recovery each require different combinations of carbohydrates and proteins to maximize glycogen stores in the muscle Training and Competition in the Female HS Athlete • Research indicates that training sessions for HS athletes are just as intense if not more intense than game day competition • Learn your body, what it needs and what combinations of foods leave you feeling energized and game-day ready • Be aware of the Female Triad Timing of Meals: Pre-Game • Goal of meal timing is to maximize/replenish glycogen stores prior to intense muscle use • Pre-game/exercise meal • 2-4 hours before • Low in fat and fiber to reduce gastric upset • 1-2 gms/kg carbs with .15-.25 gms/kg lean protein • Pre-Game Snack • 30 min – 1 hour before • 1 gm CHO/kg • Good time for sports drinks or juice, or low protein energy bar • Water intake throughout the day should remain a priority! • So what about “carb-loading”? Timing of meals: During Game • The focus during competition is to actively replace fluids lost through sweat • Bring your own water bottle • Primary intake of carbs should come in the form of sips of sports drinks if competition lasts more than 1 hour • Sports drinks that supplement electrolytes lost through sweat are beneficial, but often over used • Water should be consumed periodically throughout game time- 5-10 oz water every 15-20 minutes if possible Timing of Meals: Recovery • The MOST important phase in regards to sports nutrition • Extensive studies show that a significant amount of carbs with 15-20 gms of protein 15-30 minutes after competition or practice is absolutely essential to improving and sustaining athletic performance and preventing fatigue! • It MUST be within the first 15-60 minutes after a game to rapidly replenish glycogen stores in the muscle • 15-20 gms of protein during this time frame prevents muscle breakdown and assists with muscle building and repair • The recovery phase continues for about 18-20 hours Timing of Meals: The Plan Pre-Game/Exercise Plan Recovery Period • Night before: Healthy meal with complex carbs, healthy fats, protein, water • AM meal: Whole grains, protein, fresh fruit, milk, water • Snack: Fresh fruit or snack bar, water • Lunch (3-4 hrs before game): 12gms carbs/kg with .15-.25gms protein/kg, 17-20oz water • Snack: (0.5-1 hrs before) 1-2gm carbs/kg, 5-10oz water • If it is a long trip to the game bring fresh fruit, energy bar or juice and water • 15-60 minutes post game: 1-2gms carbs/kg with no more than 15-20gms protein, water. Recommended is 8oz of chocolate milk • 2hrs post game: full meal with a mix of complex carbs and 15-30gms of protein and healthy vegetables, water • Recovery phase can last for greater than 20 hours, make sure you refuel with carbs and plenty of water to reduce fatigue and improve next day performance Putting Recovery First • Recovery nutrition has to be planned • #1 Choice for the 15-30 minute window post game is….. • Easy to pack post-game food for the ride home • • • • • • • Apple or banana with peanut butter 1 oz Beef Jerky with ½ c grapes Dried fruit and nuts Recovery Bar with an orange PB and honey sandwich Bagel with peanut butter Coconut water, crackers, string cheese A Word About Ergogenic Aids • Eat right first and you won’t need to supplement • Energy drinks can lead to heart palpitations, seizures, cardiac arrest and even death when used to increase energy and performance while training and/or competing • Steroid use has a long list of known side effects • Most ergogenic aids are banned by the NCAA • Protein supplementation is not necessary as dietary intake is typically adequate. Questions?