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Optimal nutrition for peak performance

by WoV

Becoming an elite athlete requires good genes, good training and conditioning and a sensible diet. Optimal nutrition is essential for peak performance. Nutritional misinformation can do as much harm to the ambitious athlete as good nutrition can help. View our proposal for meals during the day before a big game, it may help you in proper nutrition.

Table 1: Sample menu of a high carbohydrate diet.
Food item Calories Grams 
carbohydrate
Breakfast
8 ounces orange juice 120 28
1 cup oatmeal 132 23
1 medium banana 101 26
8 ounces low-fat milk 102 12
1 slice whole wheat toast 60 12
1 tablespoon jelly 57 15
Lunch
2-ounce slice ham 104 0
1 ounce Swiss cheese 105 1
2 slices whole wheat bread 120 25
1 leaf lettuce 1 0
1 slice tomato 3 1
8 ounces apple juice 116 30
8 ounces skim milk 85 12
2 cookies 96 14
Dinner
3 cups spaghetti 466 97
1 cup tomato sauce
with mushrooms
89
5
19
1
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese 45 0
4 slices French bread 406 78
1 slice angel food cake 161 36
1/4 cup sliced strawberries 13 3
1/2 cup ice cream 133 16
Snack
16 ounces grape juice 330 83
6 fig cookies 386 81
TOTAL 3236 613
(75% of total calories)

 

Water is an important nutrient for the athlete. Athletes should start any event hydrated and replace as much lost fluid as possible by drinking chilled liquids at frequent intervals during the event. Chilled fluids are absorbed faster and help lower body temperature. (See Table 2.)

Table 2: Recommendations for hydration.
Day before Drink fluids frequently
Pre-event meal 2-3 cups water
2 hours before 2-2 1/2 cups water
1/2 hour before 2 cups water
Every 10-15 minutes during the event 1/2 cup cool (45-55 degrees) water
After event 2 cups fluid for each pound lost
Next day Drink fluids frequently (it may take 36 hours to rehydrate completely).

 

Table 3: Two pre-event meal plans.
Pre-Event Meal Plan I, 2-3 hours prior
(approximately 500 calories)
Lean meat or protein equivalent 2 ounces
Fruit 1 serving (1/2 cup)
Bread or easily digestible carbohydrate 2 servings
Pre-Event Meal Plan II, 3 1/2 – 4 hours prior
(approximately 900 calories)
Cooked lean meat or protein equivalent 2 ounces
Fruit 1 serving (1/2 cup)
Pasta or baked potato 1 cup or 1 medium
Bread or carbohydrate substitute 2 servings
Low-fiber vegetable 1 serving (1/2 cup)
Fat spread 1 teaspoon
Dessert: Angel food cake or plain cookies 1 piece 2 cookies

For similar articles, read Nutrition and Supplements.

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