4 Division I Football Tips for Muscle-Building Eating | STACK
X

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

4 Division I Football Tips for Muscle-Building Eating

May 12, 2013 | Katie Davis

Must See Football Videos

To gain a competitive edge and be a formidable player right out of the gate next football season might require putting on bulk. Through my work with Division I football players, I've noted several misconceptions among college athletes about eating to build muscle. Correct them with the following four tips.

Eat breakfast (but maybe not when you think)

As you know, breakfast in the morning sets the stage for the rest of the day with respect to metabolism and muscle building. Bottom line: don't ever skip breakfast.

But if you work out early, you might not be able to stomach food beforehand. Or maybe you need to put on quality weight. In these situations, have a substantial snack the night before, at least an hour before bedtime. Quality selections include:

  • A bowl of cereal with fruit
  • Peanut butter and jelly on wheat toast
  • Peanut butter smoothie
  • A few handfuls of trail mix
See more late night snack ideas here: Breakfast Before Bed.

If you're working out the next morning, eat a mainly carbohydrate granola bar or a large banana at least 30 to 45 minutes beforehand.

Eat before your workout

You'll defeat the purpose of your workout if you go into it on an empty stomach. Instead of building muscle, your body will break down muscle to use for energy. Never start a workout having eaten. About 60 minutes before you warm up, have a snack consisting of mainly carbohydrate with a small amount of protein. Examples:

  • Jelly and nut butter sandwich
  • Yogurt and fruit
  • Tuna and crackers

Eat after your workout

Your workout is useless if you don't refuel after, especially if you don't hit it during the post-workout recovery window. In the first 30 to 60 minutes after a workout, consume something liquid like low-fat chocolate milk or Rockin' Refuel.

Stay away from commercial protein shakes and powders. Most are too high in protein and provide little or no carbohydrate, the exact opposite of what you want in a recovery shake. (See Trent Richardson's Post-Workout Fueling.)

Eat a nighttime snack

Sleeping is the key to recovery because it is when most body composition changes occur. But you can eat to fuel better sleep and support faster muscle growth and recovery. About 60 minutes before bed (no later), eat a substantial snack (examples listed above).  Remember to take in mainly carbohydrate along with some protein. (Read Secrets for Better, Muscle-Building Sleep.)

Katie Davis
- Katie Davis, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, helps ordinary athletes become extraordinary competitors by using whole-food-based nutrition to improve their performance. She is the owner of...
Katie Davis
- Katie Davis, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, helps ordinary athletes become extraordinary competitors by using whole-food-based nutrition to improve their performance. She is the owner of...
Must See
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 18,611,384
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 20,636,053
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 81,228

Featured Videos

James Harden Core Circuit Views: 112,558
Path to the Pros 2015: Danny Shelton Views: 152,673
Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 543,285
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

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

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

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

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

The Boston Cannons'

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

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

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

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

The Case for Red Meat

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

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

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

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

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You