FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions in Sports Nutrition
- How many calories do I need each day?
Calorie needs vary from athlete to athlete. Below is a quick calculation to estimate your calorie goals. Use your current weight in pounds and multiply by the activity factor listed below. For example: a 150 lb woman practicing softball 4 days per week will use 150 x 16 = 2400 calories/day
Use this formula: weight in pounds X activity factor = approximate daily calorie needMENModerate-intensity workouts 3-5 days/week or low intensity and short-duration training daily use activity factor 17Training several hours daily use activity factor 18.5Rigorous training on a near daily basis use activity factor 20.5Extremely rigorous training on a near daily basis use activity factor 23WOMENModerate-intensity workouts 3-5 days/week or low intensity and short-duration training daily use activity factor 16Training several hours daily use activity factor 16.5Rigorous training on a near daily basis use activity factor 17-18Extremely rigorous training on a near daily basis use activity factor 18.5
- As an athlete, do I need to take supplements?
Good news! If you are eating a well balanced daily meal plan then you likely do not need to take any additional supplements. However, taking a daily multivitamin can serve to be beneficial for some.
- What's the big deal with chocolate milk?
Perhaps you have heard someone tell you to drink chocolate milk after your workout or practice. Well go ahead and enjoy! Chocolate milk has the right carbohydrate to protein ratio (2:1) and serves as an excellent recovery fuel. Go ahead drink up!
- Are energy drinks safe to drink?
Energy is the ability to perform work. Some people report a surge of "energy" after drinking energy drinks. But think of this "energy" as false energy caused by an array of sometimes unknown stimulants which just amp you up and then beware the inevitable crash. There have been reports of harmful and even deadly effects of some energy drinks True energy comes from good nutrition, training and getting adequate sleep. Feeling sluggish? Before you reach for that energy drink, re-evaluate your nutrition and training plan and also your sleep schedule. Just say NO to energy drinks!
- What should I eat for breakfast?
The simple answer is EAT SOMETHING! Starting your day on an empty stomach is not a good start for an athlete. Break-fast means "breaking the fast" from a night of sleeping and no food or fluid (the fast). Replenish those muscles with some good fuel for your day ahead. Never workout on an empty stomach! Here are some suggestions: eggs and oatmeal (protein and carbs), cereal and milk (carbs and protein), toast with peanut butter (carbs, protein and healthy fat), smoothie made with milk or yogurt and fruit (carbs and protein). Aim for 500-700 calories at breakfast which will leave you feeling full and well fueled.
- How much water should I drink?
Individual fluid needs vary considerably from athlete to athlete. Getting an individual fluid recommendation from a sports dietitian will give you an more accurate goal. In nutrition, we say "all fluids count" for hydration, with the exception of alcohol. This means that any fluid you drink will contribute to your fluid intake. Water, juices, smoothies, tea, coffee and sports drinks all contribute fluid. Water is often the best choice as some other beverages contribute added sugar with "empty calories" which may negatively affect your performance by adding extra weight. YIKES! Water or sports drink? If exercising longer than 60 minutes, hydrate with a sports drink. Consuming a few gulps of a sports drink every 15-20 minutes can help maintain energy and electrolyte levels and sustain performance. A quick way to tell if you are adequately hydrated is to look at your urine color and output. A well-hydrated athlete produces urine throughout the day and the color is pale yellow (lemonade color) is an indication of good hydration status. Dark and low-volume urine output is NOT!
- How many calories do I need each day?
ATTENTION : All content relating to nutrition herein should be considered general, non-clinical information and guidance. Always consult with your doctor or a professional nutritionist when seeking ANY personalized nutrition advice that may significantly affect your immediate and/or long-term health.