Performance Tips From Pittsburgh Steelers Nutrition Consultant | STACK

Performance Tips From Pittsburgh Steelers Nutrition Consultant

August 15, 2011

Training camp and two-a-days have already started for most high school football players. Whether you are battling for a roster spot or a starting assignment, a key to improving your performance and getting noticed on the practice field is eating nutritious, healthy meals.

Leslie Bonci, R.D., director of sports nutrition at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and a nutrition consultant to the Pittsburgh Steelers, has a few tips to help players get a handle on their eating habits.

One Hour Before Training
Consume 20 ounces of a sports drink, such as Gatorade, or water with a small amount of carbohydrate, such as a handful of pretzels, cereal or a granola bar. Take in some protein, as well. Some good options are a quarter cup of nuts, a few pieces of jerky, an eight-ounce cup of low-fat yogurt or 12 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk.

During Training
Drink enough fluids to replace the sweat you are losing. This helps the body recover from tough workouts.

15 Minutes After Training
For every pound lost during practice, drink 24 ounces of water. Consuming salty foods post-workout can help replace lost electrolytes. Top salty choices: a sports nutrition bar, a few pieces of jerky, a handful of pretzels, a peanut butter sandwich or two large handfuls of trail mix.

Organize Your Food
Break your plate into thirds (think of a peace sign). Place a protein in one third, a starch (rice, pasta, potato) in the second, and a fruit and/or vegetable in the third.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Consume Enough Protein
To get an idea of the number of grams of protein your body needs, use this formula:

Minimum grams: 0.6 x body weight [pounds]
Maximum grams: 0.9 x body weight [pounds]

Shoot for somewhere in the middle. Some healthy options are eggs, beans, chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish/shellfish, tofu, low-fat milk, yogurt and low-fat cheeses.

Photo:  espn.com

Brandon Guarneri
- Brandon Guarneri served as a Content Director for STACK Media. He oversaw production for STACK Magazine and created video content with athletes and brands for...
Brandon Guarneri
- Brandon Guarneri served as a Content Director for STACK Media. He oversaw production for STACK Magazine and created video content with athletes and brands for...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

Veggies Fueling for athletics requires achieving adequate amounts of macronutrients- carbohydrates, protein and fat. However, in order to keep you...

The Boston Cannons'

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

3 Nutrition Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make and How to Fix Them

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

The Case for Red Meat

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Diet Changes: 5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Plan

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

Foods for Athletes: Top Trends for 2014

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank