It’s been a busy Autumn for our family! Our 18 year old has dreams of college hoops so we have been running the circuit between Georgia, Tennessee and home. Thankfully we homeschool so no harm no foul.
Being a nurse, who was given very minimal education in Nutrition but heavy on the Pharmaceuticals, I have since more than made up for that lack in personal studies and classes. The problem? There is a LOT of voices out there. Here I am adding another. In all honesty though, there were several tips, tricks and information I took away from these collegiate coaches and former professional athletes along with my studies.
- Carb loading is outdated, overrated and potentially dangerous.
Hang with me here for a minute. We have all seen the movies, or real life examples, of athletes, in particular football players, being fed loads of spaghetti before a ballgame.
We know that the body can use three fuel sources but prefers two: it uses carbohydrates first, then fats and finally protein (which it doesn’t seem to prefer) but protein DOES have an important role in the body.
A high intake of high glycemic carbs causes a rapid release of insulin thereby dropping blood sugar levels.
When your body uses fat for fuel, ketones burn more efficiently than carbs do. There’s no blood sugar spike which leads to an insulin spike which leads to a drop in blood sugar. This process also wears the body out and is hard on the kidneys and pancreas. It increases the potential for Diabetes dramatically.
2.) Food sources are important.
One coach in particular mentioned that if he saw one of his athletes in a drive-thru or eating fast food, he would walk up to them and confront them. Us busy mamas of many kids, some of us who work, usually run through the fast food line before and/or after practices and games. This is not good for our kid’s health.
High carbohydrate content, high bad fat content, lots of grease, and overly processed food…it’s the perfect storm. Some easy solutions? Make food ahead of time. Like the night before or a few nights. Freeze or refrigerate. Something easy like Baked Egg Muffin Cups (we love Spinach/mushrooms/bacon/cheese), baked chicken (we love Mediterranean baked chicken-watch BBQ as most have lots of sugar), Energy Balls, and even Cheeseburgers (use Lettuce as the bun). The less processed the ingredients, the better.
3.) Athletes May advertise sports drinks, but they don’t drink them.
This has been profound. The majority of the collegiate athletes we came in contact with drank electrolyte infused waters like Core, Smart Water, Coconut water and Fiji (which has an added bonus of Silica). Look on the side of a “sports” drink sometime. It is mostly sugar water and artificial colors. The “sugar free” versions? Sucralose or Aspartame. Two very dangerous chemicals for the brain, the liver and potentially carcinogens. Ever wonder why they drink so much? The sugar.
(Sugar does the same)
4.) Fuel sources matter. Kick the carbs/sugars. Grab some protein and healthy fats.
Our metabolism actually prefers fat. Perhaps the worst advice ever given in the history of the food industry has been the Low Fat trend. Our brain even needs fat! That brain fog? Inability to focus? Blame low fat, high carb, standard American diets.
Good sources of fat? Look for saturated and unsaturated fat. Butter (especially grass fed), coconut oil and dairy contain saturated fat. Unsaturated fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.
Avocados, butter & Ghee, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts & seeds, omega-3’s (plant based is best to avoid high mercury content), eggs, meat, MCT oil, dark chocolate (watch the sugar here–you want unsweetened or one sweetened with Stevia or other natural low carb sweetener), and full fat dairy.
5.) Bursts of exercise are better than longer workouts
Keep that metabolism going!! Whilst my son is 6’5″, he is only 155 lbs and smaller in the trunk area. One coach recommended 100 push ups a day doing 10 at a time, 10 times a day. They also recommended 100 jumps in place done the same way. You can do some long exercises but overall these bursts are also easier for busy folks.
What is the worst diet advice you have ever been given?
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