Many factors can explain why certain athletes outperform their opponents. For some, it’s planning and preparation. For others, it’s hard work and discipline. But for every athlete, there is one crucial constant: proper nutrition.
What and when athletes eat and drink directly impacts the kind of workouts they will be able to do and the performance results they get from their training. Eventually, everyone’s metabolism slows down, and poor choices at meal time show up on game day.
LSU head strength and conditioning coach Tom Moffitt lays down a few basics to help you structure a solid eating program:
A busy schedule is no excuse for not eating breakfast. “The body can’t function without eating properly,” says Moffitt. “First and foremost, anything is better than nothing at all.” Get off to a strong start every morning with a breakfast that includes a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Moffitt likes oatmeal and egg whites. [Learn more about how breakfast can help your performance.]
Moffitt says, “I am a big believer in higher proteins, moderate carbohydrate intake and low-fat diets.”
Snack Between Meals
Some people think snacking should be avoided, but top athletes munch between meals. Moffitt recommends two snacks a day in addition to three regular meals; and he suggests mid-morning and mid-afternoon protein shakes.
Given the demands of classes, practices, and time with family and friends, formulating and observing a consistent eating plan will pay dividends in the weight room and on the field. Moffitt coaches his athletes to “put the right nutrients in at the right time so that the body recovers.”