Sport and Spine Rehab has recently partnered with Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, LD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist. Rebecca is a leading nutrition and exercise expert in the metro Washington, D.C. area. She helps people reach their full wellness potential through realistic approaches to behavior changes that fit their busy lives. Her motto “nothing changes until you do” exemplifies her belief in the power individuals already possess to realize the lifestyle they want. Sport and Spine Rehab locations are happy to now be able to make available the services she offers to our patients. An avid athlete herself, she has great knowledge and experience to share. With that said, here are some tips as you prep for upcoming fall races!
As fall races are just ahead of us, it is important to start thinking about how to maximize our performance. Properly fueling your body has a major impact on how you perform. I have some simple nutrition tips to help prep for the big day!
- Build an Athlete’s Plate. This is something I tell my clients in order to help them easily get the correct portion of nutrients. An athlete’s plate looks like a peace sign, consisting of equal sizes of protein, starch, veggies and fruits, and some healthy fats. Carbohydrates are your main source of calories, and therefore your body’s gasoline. It is important to eat high quality carbohydrates— not just doughnuts! Beans and whole grain bread provide slower burning carbohydrates that contain fiber. It is best to consume these kinds of carbohydrates at meal times, and save the quick fix energy for pre and post-fuel snacks. Carbohydrate recommendations are based on body weight, weight loss/gain goals, and time of year. It is best to have an individual consultation to find out your recommendation. For protein, the recommendation is 1.1-1.3g/kg for endurance training. As for fat, most people get enough of it every day through flavorings such as olive oil or adding cheese and avocado. The more active you are, easier it is to get adequate fat because it is so energy dense.
- Refuel within 30 minutes after your training. Refueling is important for minimizing recovery time and maximizing your workout. During exercise, your body breaks down tissue and consumes energy. Consistently consuming a snack high in carbohydrates and protein, in a 4:1 ratio, right after you train helps your muscles recuperate faster. Carbohydrates replenish your glycogen stores and protein helps your muscle repair itself and build more lean muscle. Post-fuel snacks should be based on your individual needs, but some general suggestions are a cup of low fat chocolate milk with a banana, a sandwich with either turkey and cheese or peanut butter and jelly, or a smoothie that contains 1-2 pieces of fruit, yogurt, milk, and protein powder. These options contain simple carbohydrates that are quickly utilized and do not upset the gastrointestinal tract.
- Stay Hydrated. It may seem simple, you know the more you sweat, the more you should drink. However, hydration is the thing most likely to go wrong that leads to decreased performance, muscle cramping, and the dreaded DNF (did not finish.) Individual sessions help figure out your personal hydration needs through a sweat rate test. There are several ways to get hydrated, whether it be high water foods, water directly, or optimal sport drinks. In general, drink 2 cups of water before training for an hour or longer and bring water with you. Be sure to practice in training what you will be doing on race day.
For additional information about Rebecca Scritchfield, please visit www.EliteNutritionDC.com.
For more information about Sport and Spine Rehab, please visit our website.
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