Top Fuel for Top Performance

Published November 25th, 2015 by liamortega


Winter 2015/2016 

Are you fueling your body for optimal performance? 

As high level athletes, getting the nutrition edge is critical when training day after day and pushing your body to the limit. By prioritizing what you put INTO your body, you can maximize what you get OUT of your body on a daily basis. At ASE, nutrition is an integral part of our training. We know nutrition works – one meal at a time, and one day at a time.

Take this short self-assessment to find out if you are doing all you can to boost your sports performance on and off the ice. If you consistently do the “small things,” every day, you’ll find you can improve energy, recover better from workouts, and, ultimately, perform better on the ice.

Do I: 

 Eat as soon as possible when I get up to begin fueling my muscles for the day’s workout.

 Drink at least a 20-ounce water bottle in the morning, another between 12-3pm, and another in the evening in addition to fluids at meals and snacks.

 Eat at least every 3-4 hours during the day to keep my muscles full of fuel (that’s 5-6 times a day or more).

 Eat a meal or snack 1-2 hours before workouts so I have ample energy available for training.

 Eat a recovery meal or snack within 30 minutes of hard workouts to begin the refueling process in my muscles.

 Get at least one quality protein source at every meal (red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, beans, peanut butter, etc.).

 Eat or drink at least 5 cups of fruits and veggies / juices a day to get in extra antioxidants and key vitamins and minerals for recovery.

 Drink high-quality fluids at meals (milk, 100% juices, smoothies, or soy milk first – then add in an extra glass of lemonade, punch, or sports drink).

How did you do? If you scored 8/8, you are right on track. If you didn’t hit the mark, set a goal of making one key change a week in your diet to help you meet your training and performance goals. Small, consistent nutrition changes lead to big changes in your performance.

Maximizing Fluids 

Have you ever gotten to the point of being overly thirsty in competition and just couldn’t quench your thirst? Some athletes make the mistake of using thirst as an indicator of dehydration. In reality, the dehydration process beings much sooner than your thirst indicates. Make sure you get enough liquids in throughout the day in preparation for your workout. Stock up on fluids early in the day in anticipation of the fluids you will lose during practices.

Start hydrating your body when you first wake up in the morning and continue to drink extra fluids throughout the day. Make sure you always have a water bottle with you to remind yourself to drink extra fluids in classes. How do you know if you are drinking enough to be hydrated for workouts? You’ll be in good shape if you go to the bathroom every 2-3 hours and have ample light-colored or clear urine. Remember, too, that you can “eat” fluids as well as drinking them. Here are 10 foods that are at least 80% water:

 Cucumbers

 Lettuce and spinach

 Sweet peppers

 Watermelon and other melons

 Tomatoes

 Onions

 Peaches

 Berries

 Yogurt

 Cottage cheese

What to Eat: Snack and Recipe Corner 

Drinking smoothies is a perfect way to boost fluids, fruit, and key nutrients for recovery all at the same time. Try these two options for a quick “on the go” snack, or at night when you are studying to give your muscles extra nutrients for recovery while you sleep.

Easy Fruit Smoothie 

1 banana (can be fresh or frozen)

6 oz. calcium fortified orange juice

. cup frozen berries or peaches

. cup nonfat Greek yogurt

. cup ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in blender, adding ice last. Blend just a few seconds, until smooth.

This is a great source of calcium plus extra fiber and really fills you up on very few calories! Nutrients per recipe: 260 calories, 10 g protein, 55 g carbohydrates, with extra calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Recovery Smoothie 

1 cup skim chocolate milk

1 banana

1 Tablespoon peanut butter


Combine all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth and frothy. This is a perfect smoothie for recovery after workouts. It contains a perfect mix of carbs and protein (plus a mix of whey, casein, and peanut protein). Nutrients per recipe: 314 calories, 13 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 8 g total fat with extra calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D.


Crock Pot Cooking 

Now that the weather is turning cooler, it’s a great time to bring out the crock pot (or slow cooker), or consider purchasing one to save you time cooking meals this winter. You can pick up a good 4-quart or 5-quart crock pot for $20, and it’s definitely worth the money. All you need to do is find a couple easy recipes, dump the ingredients into the crock pot, and let it cook all day while you are busy or in workouts. Then, you come back to a great high-protein main dish without any hassle. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Pineapple Marinated Pork or Chicken 

3 pounds lean boneless pork loin chops or boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons soy sauce

. cup brown sugar

1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks (and the juice)

Place pork chops or chicken in crock pot. Pour soy sauce, brown sugar, and pineapple chunks with juice over pork chops. Add . cup orange juice if needed. Cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or until done.

Crock Pot Roast Beef 

3 pounds boneless, thawed lean loin or round roast

1 package dry au jus mix (about 1 ounce)

1 package dry Italian salad dressing mix (1/2 ounce)

2 teaspoons chopped garlic (buy in the glass jar)

1 can (10.5 ounces) beef broth

. cup water

Place roast in 3+ quart crock pot. Combine sauces, garlic, broth, and water and pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

For more recipes: http://allrecipes.com/recipes/253/everyday-cooking/slow-cooker/

ASE Consultant Sports Dietitian Susan Kundrat, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN