Maintain Consistent Nutrition Habits | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Maintain Consistent Nutrition Habits

December 1, 2010 | Featured in the December 2010 Issue

Obviously, what you eat affects your body. But when you eat is equally important, especially if you want to increase energy, build lean muscle mass and maintain peak performance.

If you think it’s OK to eat whenever it’s convenient, you might pound down a few ill-timed meals a day. In reality, uncertainty and inconsistency of when and how much you eat diminishes your athletic performance.

Sporadic eating triggers the body’s natural response to protect its energy supplies by converting glucose to fat. “Your system is going to slow down, and that’s your body’s way of saying, ‘I don’t know when my next meal is coming,’” says Lisa Dorfman, University of Miami sports nutrition director. You are setting yourself up for heavy legs, limited stamina and poor focus, all of which drop your performance.

Consistently eating at regular intervals throughout the day provides a steady flow of calories and helps your body maximize stored energy. Dorfman says, “Your body knows what to expect and when to get it, and it finds the best way to manage energy levels.” This keeps you alert and ensures that you’re prepared for the high-energy demands of competition or training.

Consume three meals and two or three snacks throughout the day, so that you’re eating every two to two-anda- half hours. Dorfman says that snacks prevent hunger pangs, which often lead to gut-busting binge eating. She urges athletes to snack on fruit or a small sandwich instead of tempting items such as French fries or potato chips.

Fill up throughout the day with these snacks, which you can easily store in your locker.

Gatorade Perform 02 (1 bottle): Fulfills hydration needs before or during your workout and provides electrolytes for maintaining muscle function.

PowerBar Harvest Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip (1 bar)*: Fills you up with 42 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein without weighing you down during activity.

Apple, Orange or Banana (choose 1): These mid-morning snacks offer generous servings of carbs, plus other vitamins and minerals that help your body utilize its stored energy.

Rold Gold Classic Style Pretzel Thins (1 oz.): Keeps you full during the afternoon and provides a large amount of sodium, important for maintaining strength.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (1 sandwich)*: High in calories, protein and carbs, it satisfies hunger and jump-starts your body with energy before an after-school workout or practice.

NUTRITION LOWDOWN
Calories 501
Protein 13g
Carbohydrates 127g
Fat 11g

*Choose either peanut butter and jelly sandwich or PowerBar Harvest

Related linnk:

Watch a video interview with Lisa Dorfman as she outlines when and what fluids athletes should consume before, during and after training.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Must See
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,154,655
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,759,064
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 24,741,326

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,546
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 29,436
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,276
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,811
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,582
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,872,125
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Pre-Game Nutrition: What to Eat Before You Compete

Athletes are always told to "eat well" the day before and day of a competition so that they have energy to spare for the intense physical activity they...

How 100 Pro Athletes Like Their Eggs

Eat Like a Champion, Part 2: How to Lose Fat Safely

How to Build a Meal Plan to Suit Your Body Type

The 5 Foods That Will Rule 2015

4 Endomorph Diet Strategies to Accelerate Fat Loss

Why Every Athlete Should Drink Tea

Bone Broth Breakdown: Should You Eat This 'Super' Soup'?

8 Recovery Foods Recommended by Sport Dietitians

Surprising Muscle-Building Snacks

Eat Like a Champion, Part 1: How to Build Muscle in the Kitchen

Cheerios With Quinoa: Coming Soon to a Grocery Store Near You

The Right Way to Gain Weight During the Off-Season

Why Are People Drinking Charcoal?

Simple Nutrition Tips for Faster Workout Gains

How to Turn Nutrition Goals Into Actions

Study Ranks Paleo As Second-Worst Diet

Avoid Pigging Out: How to Conquer Food Cravings

Macronutrients, Part I: Carbohydrates

How and Why to Eat Mindfully

The Nutrition That Powers Joe Thomas's Iron-Man Streak

3 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Eat Like a Champion, Part 3: Post-Workout Nutrition

Halftime Snacks for Quick Refueling

What You Need to Know about Fats

Types of Yogurt: What's New and What's Best for Athletes

Why Chicken Soup Strengthens Your Immune System

The Food Rules for Building Muscle

Is It Okay to Eat the Same Thing Every Day?

Russell Wilson Wants You to 'Eat the Ball'

12 Grab-and-Go High Protein Snacks

What You Need to Know About Protein

Post-Holiday Chocolate Health Benefits

Game-Day Nutrition for Soccer Players

5 Changes Fast-Food Restaurants Are Making to Become Healthier

Are 'Healthy Chips' Really Healthy? 5 Popular Options Examined

Big Breakfast, Small Breakfast, No Breakfast: Which Is Best?

Is All Sugar Bad for You?

Performance-Boosting Snacks with a Satisfying Crunch

4 Common Nutrition Questions Answered