Pre- and post-workout nutrient timing for student-athletes

My name is Monica Bearden, I’m a sports
dietitian and I work with adolescent athletes. Coaches spend so much time with
their athletes and they really have a great opportunity to influence the
athletes on the field and off the field. On the field, great nutrition will
decrease risk of injury and help their athletes perform harder all week long
and get ready to compete. And then off the field, the kid’s just a better student and they feel better. A great pre-competition meal or treat – it’s like a yogurt parfait with granola and fruit as well as a turkey and cheese sandwich
but it really depends on what the athlete can stomach, so you always want
to try it pre-training and then you can use those same foods pre-competition. Within that hour after workout, it’s really a great time to recover, and you want to continue doing that hours after. But that first hour is extremely important, so I tell people that an easy way to do that is with chocolate milk. It helps you to replenish with carbohydrates and electrolytes, it helps you to repair with high quality protein, and you rehydrate because it’s 90% water.
I love talking to student athletes about milk versus sports drinks, especially
when it comes to recovery. Because in most of these sports drinks you’re not getting the high quality protein, you’re not getting the muscle and bone building nutrients that you’re gonna get in a simple glass of chocolate milk. Plus, it’s a cheaper alternative to sports drinks and it’s highly accessible. I mean, you can get it in your cafeteria. About three to four hours after that initial hour after your workout or your competition, you want to eat a meal. So a great idea
and especially if, you know, you don’t have time to make dinner if you’re
making it on your own, you just came home from school, a great idea is just an
English muffin with some cheese, for example, and a glass of chocolate milk. Or even yogurt with the granola and the fruit and a glass of chocolate milk. These are very easy things that the adolescent athlete can do on their own. Nutrition is extremely important just for general health, but for an athlete specifically it can really make the difference between a
good athlete and a great athlete.

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