We know that diet is as vitally important to a top contender’s performance as exercise. Our athletic development team will ensure that EVO athletes make the right choices for their health, and are well-fueled for their workouts.
To ensure a high-energy workout, maintain stamina and guard your health, it helps to separate fact from fiction on what, when, and how much to eat.
A calorie is a unit of heat used to measure human energy. Energy output is dependent on a person’s physical condition and continuing activity. To calculate calories burned during a workout, professional athletes and sports fans could perform a calculation by taking into account their own weight, individual sports played and the time frame.
The following table, published in Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy, shows activity factors for individual sports. Multiply the relative factor by number of pounds by duration of the activity. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs. and box in a ring for 30 minutes, the calculation would be 5.44 (factor for boxing) x 200 (pounds) x .5 (1/2 hour) = 544 calories burned. The would be comparable to the calories in a six-ounce broiled porterhouse steak, according to WebMD.
US Dietary guidelines suggest that adults maintain a steady diet of macronutrients in the following daily proportions:
The Mayo Clinic breaks this recommendation down further.
Sports fans in good shape who perform a low-intensity work out every day should consume about three to five grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of weight. One kilogram = 2.20462 pounds. For example, a 150-pound person weighs 68 kilograms and, therefore, should eat between 240 and 340 grams of carbohydrates daily. If the workouts extend beyond an hour, increase intake to six to 10 grams based on weight. One medium baked potato with skin is about 37 grams of carbohydrate; an apple with skin, about 19 grams; and a 5.5-ounce package of mixed, dried fruit, about 94 grams.
The recommendation for protein intake for highly active sports fans is 1.2 to two grams of protein for every kilogram of weight, equivalent to 82 to 136 grams for a 150-pound individual. To put this in perspective, a six-ounce serving of top round beef is about 60 grams of protein, and the equivalent amount of steamed scallops is about 40 grams of protein.
For those who wonder about a pre-workout diet, the Mayo Clinic advises against eating immediately before working out to avoid gastrointestinal issues. Eating one to three hours prior to exercise is suggested.
Some professional athletes subscribe to the theory that protein should be consumed right after a rigorous workout. To appreciate the reasoning behind this, it helps to understand muscle protein synthesis (MPS). This is a sequence of events in the body where cells synthesize numerous proteins. In turn, proteins perform various functions. One of these functions is to build muscle and propel muscle contraction.
An article published by The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association explains that when people exercise, muscle breaks down and rebuilds protein. The researchers concluded that “protein synthesis can be enhanced by controlling the type of protein, the amount of protein consumed and the timing of protein consumption.”
An experiment revealed that 10 grams of essential amino acids stimulated protein synthesis by the highest extent. Although different sources of protein promoted MPS, only sources of essential amino acids caused an increase. Amino acids are the body’s main tissue-building units or structural components of protein. There are nine essential or indispensable amino acids, named as such because the body is incapable of producing them in the necessary quantity if at all.
Complete proteins, which are food items that provide all the essential amino acids, include eggs, milk, cheese, meat and soy protein. Examples of foods that combine to form complete proteins are beans with brown rice, whole wheat noodles with cheese, yogurt and a multigrain muffin, grilled cheese on whole grain bread, and peanut butter on whole wheat bread.
An article in Harvard Health Publishing offers a list of foods to boost a nutritional diet with the caveat that there is no one food that provides the total nourishment the human body needs. Referencing the 2015-2020 US Dietary Guidelines, the general advice is to eat across all food groups. Having said that, food items known to be chock-full of key nutrients include berries, fish, leafy greens, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, yogurt, cruciferous vegetables, legumes and tomatoes. Professional athletes as well as inactive individuals would be well-advised to keep their pantries stocked with these foods for energy and overall health.
At EVO we will be dedicated to teaching our professional athletes healthy eating and lifestyle habits. We will provide an entire support system, from nutritionists, sports psychologists and trainers, to ensure that the individual athlete succeeds. Join us and be part of the team that aims to create tomorrow’s champions.