Right Types and Amounts of Food
Carbohydrates provide the energy needed to fuel growth and development. So, it’s critical to consume enough carbohydrates each day. While carbohydrate recommendations vary based on body composition, activity level, training program, and goals, it is important to note that the
hours and minutes before and after training are key muscle fueling and building periods.
*Example: A 165-pound (75 kilogram) athlete, needs about 375-525 grams of carbohydrate each day.
Before a Workout – For quick usable energy, fast-digesting carbohydrates, like simple sugars, are best to eat around workouts, especially in the pre-workout period. When eaten before activity, they can help preserve some of your muscle glycogen stores.
After a Strenuous Workout – It’s also important to eat carbohydrate-rich foods after exhaustive training to help quickly restore some of the muscle glycogen used during exercise. Fruit and dairy products are fantastic options to consume around activity.
Throughout the Day – Slower-digesting carbohydrates, like fiber-filled grains, starches, vegetables, and legumes are great during other periods of the day. They help provide more energy and micronutrients needed for a complete and balanced diet.
Protein supports muscle recovery and is vital for building muscle. High-quality proteins, including those found in dairy products and beef, contain all the essential amino acids needed to build new muscle tissue. *Example: For a 165-pound (75 kilogram) athlete, that is between 90-150 grams of protein each day.
Throughout the Day – to support the building and repair of muscles, it is optimal to spread daily protein intake evenly throughout the day. Eating more protein than needed will not result in bigger muscles. It’s the right amount (for your body weight), the right types of protein, and consuming it at the right time of day.
Fat assists with many important functions in the body, including the digestion and absorption of protein and carbohydrates. Since fat is the most energy-rich macronutrient—9 calories per gram—eating enough is necessary to get sufficient total daily calories. In athletic training, fat is a great energy source for long workouts and practices, especially at lower intensities.
Throughout the Day – The amount of fat an athlete requires is highly dependent on how many total calories they need in a day. *Example: A 165-pound (75 kilogram) athlete needs a minimum of 75 grams of fat per day, plus more to help meet daily calorie goals.