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.

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...
Must See
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 546,375
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 9,379,662
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,759

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 69,070
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 9,456
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 133,452
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

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,880
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,300
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,676
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,782
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,561,942

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

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

The digestibility of carbohydrates and the impact it has on blood sugar has an important role for athletes. The glycemic index ranks foods on a scale of...

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

Why You Should Always Say No to Diet Foods

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

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

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

The Boston Cannons'

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

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

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

The Case for Red Meat

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

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

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat