Cal South E-News | April 2012 NUTRITION EDUCATION
|Building Your Sports Diet|
|By Nancy Clark MS RD
"What percent of my calories should come from carbohydrates, protein and fat?" my client asked in his efforts to improve his sports diet and his performance. "Should it be 40% carb, 30% protein and 30% fat? Or 65-15-30?" Clearly, he had been reading the popular literature and felt totally confused by the mixed messages.
According to the American Dietetic Association's Position Stand on Nutrition and Athletic Performance, active people should target a diet with 50 to 65% of calories from carbs, 10 to 35% from protein and 20 to 35% from fat. But the paper goes on to say that percentages are not the best way to calculate a food plan for athletes. Here's an example why:
• If you are a 150 pound high school soccer player who wants to add muscle and require about 4,000 calories a day to support your traiing and growth, a diet with 10 to 15% of calories from protein would offer 400 to 600 calories of protein or 100 to 150 grams protein. This comes to about 0.65 to 1.0 grams protein per pound. Perfect!
Instead of fretting about percentages of calories, try this simple concept:
• Choose three different kinds of foods with each meal (such as cereal + milk+ banana or salad + cottage cheese + chick peas)
You'll end up with the right balance of protein and carbs, as well as vitamins and minerals.
For more information: Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook has chapters on protein, carbohydrate, and weigh loss (available at www.nancyclarkrd.com)
|About the Author:|
Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD is an internationally known sports nutritionist and nutrition author. She is a registered dietitian (RD) who specializes in nutrition for exercise, health and the nutritional management of eating disorders. She is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD). Check out her website at www.nancyclarkrd.com.