In today’s post I want to visit some thoughts on pregame and pretraining food. This means a small meal, snack, or other food product. I’ve covered pregame hydration in another post. We’ve also given some ideas on after workout food separately.
As it is with so many aspects of nutrition, there’s quite a bit of controversy around pregame nutrition. I’m indebted to my colleagues at Apeiron Life, Jae Berman and Heather Rivera who are the two smartest sport and performance dietitians I’ve ever come across.
Jae and Heather take a very practical approach and recommend that all athletes ask themselves a few questions before coming up with an approach to pregame nutrition. And whenever possible use real whole food options over packaged products or bars to achieve your nutrition goals.
There will be a lot of mashed potatoes consumed at Thanksgiving meals across America this week. I came across a research study suggesting that potato puree is as effective as an energy gel in promoting performance improvements in endurance cycling. Is it possible that mashed potatoes are also performance enhancers? Probably not, especially when they’re accompanied by 3000 calories of turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and bread. 🙂
Over the past weekend many parts of the U.S. turned their clocks backwards one hour, which means we are now in “Standard Time”. I like to think of this as “daylight losing time”. Our afternoons get darker earlier. With fewer opportunities for sunlight exposure we’ve got fewer opportunities to make a critical component of health, fitness, and athletic performance: Vitamin D.
In today’s post I’ll briefly describe where Vitamin D comes from, outline Vitamin D’s effects on sports performance and fitness, and what to do if you need to get more Vitamin D in your body.
One of the benefits I found working as a high school team physician is the opportunity to have conversations with intelligent young people and every once in a while to positively influence their life choices. Nutrition is an area fraught with confusion, as the messaging the kids receive from the media and occasionally from coaches runs counter to what we believe would be the optimal choices for them.
I’ve found that there are two key components to having a successful conversation. The first component is when to actually have the conversation (the training room works best for me). The second component is to use examples from the best athletes in the world as models of high performance habits. By using these tactics I’ve been surprised over the years that young athletes are far more receptive to the messages than I once believed.