Off Season Nutrition Adjustments
The summer is “off season” for collegiate and high school athletes. This is the best time to prepare for the upcoming season both physically and mentally. It is also the optimal time to make any needed changes to your performance diet, which may include trying new foods for pre-/during competitions and also for making any weight adjustments
If you need to trim down, start by cutting out the foods that have little nutritional value. You know what these are! They include caloric beverages and processed snacks.
Replace that large mocha latte with a medium skinny latte or a plain iced tea. Drink more water. Include protein with every meal and snack. A good combination that is both nutritious and filling is fiber + protein. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber as well as contain phytonutrients. Increasing protein while decreasing calories helps to avoid losing the muscle you’ve worked so hard to gain. Your body does not require as much fuel during the off-season, so you can reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat.
This plate calls for making ¼ of your plate protein, ¼ whole grains, and ½ of your plate vegetables. Remember, it is still important to fuel your summer workouts. You still need carbs, but not as many as you need during the height of your season when your practices are more intense and frequent. Be sure to re-fuel after training with a lean, nutritious meal containing protein and veggies or fruit.
Do you need to add more bulk over the summer? Many wish they had this problem, but the reality is, it is very difficult to gain lean weight. Think of weight gain as your job over the summer. It is important to eat three meals EACH day along with a few snacks. Include protein with every meal and snack. Include healthy fats with all your meals. Healthy fats include nuts, seeds, peanut butter, avocadoes, canola and olive oil, to name a few. Snack on healthy, calorie dense foods such as granola. Put peanut butter on your apple. Have a protein shake in the afternoon. Drink juice and whole milk instead of water at meals. Include whole milk Greek yogurt.
Of course, these weight maintenance strategies work in conjunction with your summer training routine. Don’t leave that out!
I can work with you to develop specific meal plans and suggestions for a successful performance food plan! Contact me and we’ll set you up!
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