STAR Health partnered with our very athletic neighbors, the Delaware 87ers, for the inaugural NBA D-League Fit Week. And to keep up your energy level for a week of hoops, fitness and fun, nutrition is at the top of the key. But locking up good nutrition habits can be tougher than locking down Sevens star Baron Davis. So our Sharon Collison, registered dietician at STAR Health, laid up a game plan of nutrition tips. Here’s your starting five and sixth man.
You cannot out-train a poor sports diet! Without proper nutrition before exercising, you risk starving your muscles, stunting any potential growth or crashing during your workout. Before working out, carbohydrates are crucial. Great choices include:
- Granola bar
- Fig Newtons
After exercise, your body needs an adequate supply of protein to reduce muscle breakdown and stimulate growth, carbohydrates to refuel depleted muscle glycogen, and fluid and electrolytes to rehydrate the body and replenish what’s lost in sweat. It is important to refuel within 30 minutes after a workout. Carbohydrate and protein supplementation after exercise help you build muscle, avoid soreness and allow you to exercise harder and improve your performance at your next workout! Great choices include:
- Chocolate milk
- Greek yogurt with fruit
- Fluids with a protein bar that has carbohydrate and protein
- A fruit, yogurt, milk/juice smoothie
- Milk with a PB/J sandwich
Include at least 1 serving of fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack to help you get at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies daily. Doing so will boost your immune system and help prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
For optimal energy levels, weight control, as well as optimal sports performance, a minimum of 3 meals plus 2 snacks/day is a must! Plan ahead so you can eat well by having the right foods readily available at the right times. Rule of thumb:
- Meals = source of protein plus starch/grain plus fruit/veggie
- Snacks = source of protein along with one other food group
The 3H Rule: If you work out hard for over an hour in hot or humid conditions, you need to replace electrolytes in addition to fluid. Rehydrate after your workout with an electrolyte-containing sports drink or drink plenty of water with a meal that contains plenty of sodium and potassium. Hint: Fruits, veggies and whole grains are great sources of potassium; if you need more sodium in your diet, add salt to foods, or eat salted pretzels, nuts, and crackers.
The Sixth Man
Whey protein is an ideal source of branched chain amino acids that can help with recovery to allow for muscle protein synthesis; 25 grams of whey protein post-strength training can assist with gaining lean muscle mass.
STAR Health is the public-facing entity of the UD College of Health Sciences, where combining research and education leads us to a new direction in healthcare. Comprehensive clinical services are open to the public, including nutrition counseling, health coaching, fitness coaching, primary care, speech-language pathology and physical therapy.