Tip From The Trenches – More SNAPP Suggestions
Editor’s Note: This is the continuation of Ken Mannie’s August 2010 article appearing in the print edition of Coach & Athletic Director.
More SNAPP Suggestions: Gaining and maintaining good, solid muscle weight can be a problem for some athletes, especially the active athlete or hard gainer who — for a host of reasons — require a significant amount of calories on a daily basis. Our outstanding SNAPP (Spartan Nutrition and Performance Program) staff once again has some offerings for this target group of athletes.
Eat breakfast every morning. Yes, mom is absolutely on the money with this one. Breakfast is especially important for athletes, as training without energy and fuel is counterproductive to the quest of gaining muscle mass. Instead of building muscle, they are breaking it down for energy needs. The resulting effects of this catabolic state are a loss of energy, muscle weight and strength.
Eat frequently. Athletes should eat something, at the very least, every three hours. Doing this prevents excessive energy drain and is crucial to growth and recovery stemming from their extremely demanding training and practice schedules. A minimum of breakfast, lunch, dinner and some type of snack (e.g., yogurt, nuts, fruit, 100-percent fruit juices, smoothies, cereal, low-fat energy bars, trail mix, etc.) in between these meals and later in the evening are in order.
Pre-training meals and snacks. Three to five hours prior to heavy training, athletes should eat a meal that is familiar to them and easily digestible. This includes foods that are high in carbohydrate and moderate in protein and fat. Additionally, they should consume at least 16 to 24 ounces of fluid.
Fuel during exercise. It’s crucial to drink at least two to four cups of sports drink (or water) — on an average of four to eight ounces every 15 to 20 minutes — to fuel training, reduce the risk of dehydration and heat-related illness and replace carbohydrate and electrolyte loss.
Eat for recovery. Eating and drinking within 60 minutes of a workout — primarily after strength training sessions — stimulates noticeable gains in the muscle-building process. This calorie consumption should consist of approximately 70 to 100 grams of carbohydrate and 20 to 30 grams of protein. Overall, we are speaking of a snack containing at least 500 calories.
To contact Ken Mannie with any questions or comments about Powerline, drop him an email at [email protected].