Fort Collins Nutrition for Athletes
In Fort Collins nutrition in athletes is paramount to achieving top performance, aiding in quick recovery and avoiding illness during the season. Without optimum nutrition athletes risk early fatigue, muscle cramping, joint pain, brain fog, insufficient recovery and decrease in performance. Nutrition in athletes is more important than in the average person because of the increased physical and mental strain placed on their bodies. A proper nutrition plan will ensure that you get the most out of your training plan and will have the extra boost needed to achieve your goals.
Fort Collins Nutrition in Athletes
The GOALS of Proper Nutrition in Athletes:
1. Prevent Dehydration
2. Maintain blood glucose levels
3. Offset muscle and liver glycogen depletion
4. Fuel your brain and prevent central nervous system fatigue
Fort Collins athletes, with the increased altitude, should regularly consume 8-10 oz of water every hour, and 16 oz of water just prior to bed. This may seem like a lot but you are losing water during every workout/training period mostly through sweat and a little through increased respiration, especially in the dry climate in Fort Collins. At the muscular level, dehydration of even only a slight amount will decrease the strength of contraction of muscle fibers and cause them to fatigue quicker. In preparation for training consume approx. 16 oz of water, stopping about 30 min prior to the start time to allow time to empty the bladder. Another tip to remember is that even though there are research articles stating that it will mobilize fat stores to be used for energy, caffeine beverages are a diuretic and should be kept at a minimum. The best piece of advice for staying hydrated during an event or training is to DRINK BEFORE YOU ARE THIRSTY. One way may be to set a recurring watch alarm for every 15 min to remind you to drink.
The average sweat loss is around 1-3 quarts per hour depending on the weather and the athlete. Even the most diligent drinkers will only replace 80% of sweat loss – at best. By ignoring water during the day and having 16oz before bed and 16oz before your workout you will be dehydrated. Avoid starting the training session in a dehydrated state by keeping water with you all day.
Maintain blood glucose levels
The muscles and brain cannot function without glucose. Blood glucose levels from stored carbohydrates are minimal and are depleted within minutes. A well fed liver has a large store of glycogen (400 calories), muscle glycogen levels are large (1400-1800 calories) but if they are used the muscle fibers will suffer. Therefore, it is important to replenish your glucose and glycogen stores to prevent muscle breakdown.
Offset muscle and liver glycogen depletion
Glucose is stored in the liver and muscle as glycogen; it is released into the blood stream and converted by the liver into glucose to be used by the body. There are steps you can take to avoid going deep into muscle and liver glycogen stores. Consume carbohydrates during training in hopes to decrease utilization of glycogen stores, especially if your workout is longer than an hour. Re-fuel within 30 minutes of training with lean whole protein and complex carbohydrate. This will help the body recover and be ready for the next training session.
Fuel your brain and central nervous system
The only acceptable fuel for the central nervous system (CNS) is glucose. Athletes need to consume adequate carbohydrates to insure sufficient glucose for the central nervous system. You should consume glucose BEFORE you feel mentally sluggish, and before begin to feel good again. Once you begin to feel like you are getting tired, your body will dig into the muscle glycogen stores which will make you feel great again. This will be short lived and will be difficult to recover from both during training/competition and in recovery. (Please see recovery nutrition for more information)
In closing, nutrition in athletes should not be taken lightly. This is only one factor in nutrition which could play a role in increasing or decreasing an athlete’s performance (also see food allergies, anti-inflammatory diet and micronutrients).
Fort Collins Nutrition for Athletes and the Effect of Food Allergies
Fort Collins Athletes Need for Water
Benefits of Exercise in Fort Collins
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