Roberta Anding, Texas Children's Hospital Adolescent Sports Department, followed Berube and noted that information for the average consumer and try to apply that to athletes. For example, the low-carb craze has been completely misinterpreted. This does not apply to athletes. Some athletes cramp regularly due too little sodium.
Also, BMI does not apply to athletes. Noted one retired Houston Texan who had BMI of 37 but had 19 percent body fat. The rules are different.
It's a misconception that want athletes want grease, fried foods and big portions. She created a line for people with cholesterol issues, body fat management and heredity cancer risks. Eighty percent of her athletes choose this "lean line."
She's seeing a trend towards "eating clean." The average Texan will consume 5,000 calories a day. She has to tell athletes that she doesn't want them to eat a lot of animal fat, but add pesto and pecan crusted chicken. Food must have a lot of calories in relatively small volume. It's not good nutrition if they're wearing it on their shoes.
There is now emphasis on homemade sports nutrition -- making sports or recovery drinks. She worked with Hakeem Olajuwon and they made a sports drink with pineapple juice plus salt.
The number one performance buster is dehydration. At least 50 percent of athletes are dehydrated and don't know they are. You have to think about not merely drinking but how much. So weigh to see how much water weight you lose. Every pound you lose is equivalent to 16 oz. of sweat. An athlete who drinks a gallon of water but may have lost more than that. Hyponatremia, or overhydration with not enough sodium, can kill and its symptoms are insidious.
You would also want high water volume foods -- fruit, vegetables, milk and yogurt. Athletes know when they sit down they need 50 percent of the plate as fruit and vegetables and 50 percent other stuff. Rarely does she that 80 percent of fluid comes from voluntary drinking and 20 percent from food. If you lose 1 to 2 percent of body weight, you lose 15 percent of performance. Fluid is best legal ergogenic aid. Also, athletes should look at first morning urine. We have all heard that if your urine is clear, you're hydrated. Your kidneys may get the fluid, but your muscles may not. But the clear urine is a fallacy.
You should know when to use a sports drink. Sweat is salty so you can't drink water all the time. For the average person, excess sodium is an issue. But you can have seizures, cerebral edema and then can you die. You don't need salt to watch, but if you play, you do need salt for recovery especially if the area is humid and hot.
Coaches set body weights, not nutritionists. So athletes to dehydrate themselves to make weight. Anding would recommend not fining athletes for being overweight. Plus, dietary supplements with items like ephedra and bitter orange raise core body temperature and accelerate dehydration. Texans only team in NFL who has a lean line.
There comes a time when athletes need to replace carbohydrate and salt from performance. What determines carbohydrate needs is intensity and duration of their activity. Sustained activity for 45 minutes burns 100 percent carbs. If you ramp up the intensity, the fuel burn will change. Take a female freshman soccer player. She doesn't play much, but she practices hard. So she needs carbohydrate after practice but not on game day.
Anding would love to see some homemade recipes for concentrated carbs. Athletes are looking for more choices. It would have to be portable, and have carbs and salt. Sportsbeans are jelly beans with sport. You could time this story to preparation for your local marathon.
Sugars are sprinting carbs. If you're looking for sustained energy, you want something with a lower glycemic index. A pre race meal of lentils, yogurt and chopped up apples, which slows glucose absorption. A good story idea would be raceday nutrition.
Also, the concept of recovery crosses all sports, age groups and classes. Anding works with inner city schools. Recovery is feeding the muscles when muscles are hungry, which is about 30 minutes after exercise.
Heat recovery food should be something liquid with 4 grams of carbs to 1 gram to protein. Chocolate milk works (solid foods divert cooling blood to the stomach and are not recommended). as does the old reliable PBJ. Liquid is better but you can eat if that's your only option. Pre competition and recovery foods should be low in fat. The timing of the pre-competition meal is important. General rule of thumb is largest meal no more than 3 to 4 hours before game time.
Closer to game time, go from solid to liquid. Anxiety shuts down digestive process. She has awakened athletes at 4 a.m., fed them so they can race at 8 a.m.
Some aesthetically oriented athletes want low volume foods to avoid the appearance of bloat.
Moving on to protein, most guys think they need more protein to make more muscle. The average athletes need more protein. The average person needs a half gram of protein per pound of body weight; athletes need twice as much. Carbohydrate acts as protein's bodyguard. Female triad athletes think they need more protein, but really they need carbs to protect protein's role in sustaining you. She needs to help bust the myth of protein consumption.
Carnation Instant Breakfast is as good as high-dollar protein supplements. Do the comparison.
One resource for writers is Nancy Clarke's Sports Nutrition Guide. You can also find Anding's information at www.HoustonTexans.com. Click on the Fan Zone link, then scroll down to "fitness."
People think that athletes don't have heart disease, diabetes or hypertension. They do, so look at the sources of protein. She recounted a 27-year old who had a heart attack and had one of the worst lipid panels she had ever seen. Most athletes want to win, but they also want to be mommies, daddies and family members.
You should see a nutritionist if you have a chronic condition and want to compete.
Hyponatremia mimicks dehydration, except for weight gain, upper respiratory symptoms and swollen hands and feet. Weigh yourself to check for it. If you gain weight after workouts, be aware. More likely in women who are slow runners.