Seven Rules of Nutrition
Rule One: Always eat breakfast.
Breakfast will make you feel better; it helps you start your day with your metabolism in high gear and your appetite in control. Think of your body as a campfire that dies down during the night. If it isn’t stoked up in the morning the spark turns to ash.
Rule Two: Always eat at least 5 meals a day.
Two or three meals simply aren’t enough. By eating 5 meals your energy levels will remain high, and you’ll get protein in small amounts throughout the day to support growth and recovery. Yes, it will be difficult, especially with classes/work, practice and other commitments on your schedule. However, it is NOT impossible. Bring a couple of extra sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes or powerbars/protein drinks with you as you go through the day.
Rule Three: Always consume a post-workout drink/meal.
Consider this the second most important meal of the day. Also, eat a pre-workout snack to insure proper energy level and mental focus.
Rule Four: Eat with balance.
Each meal should be a balance between carb, protein and fats. Also, balance out your calorie intake throughout the day. Not too many calories coming late at night when you are less active. Remember the 1-2-3 rule. In each of your 5 meals, approximately 1 part of the calories should come from fats, 2 parts from protein and 3 parts from carbohydrates. Always eat a carbohydrate with a protein.
Rule Five: Drink eight to ten glasses of pure water each day.
This will ensure you’re replacing fluids lost during exercise. DO NOT wait until you are thirsty. By then, you are in a depleted state. Drink these glasses of water throughout a day’s time, not all at once. This rule deserves two notes of consideration: 1) you’re an athlete and constantly active therefore you are losing more fluids than you realize; and 2) water is probably the one substance most often overlooked by athletes. Do not let dehydration limit your performance!
Rule Six: Not all proteins and carbohydrates are equal.
The protein in fatty meat and whole dairy products is much more difficult to digest (if your body digests it at all) as compared to whey and soy protein, lean white meat and fat free dairy products. The highest quality proteins are found in egg whites, whey protein isolates and soy protein isolates. There are many types of carbohydrates. Simple processed sugars, found in candy bars and sodas, will send your energy levels sky-high and then they fall to lower levels quickly. Complex unprocessed carbohydrates, found in grains, fruits, and vegetables will give you a more constant supply of energy until your next meal. Eat your fruits and vegetables.
Rule Seven: Never go on a fad diet.
If fat loss is needed, accomplish it through proper diet and exercise, never a fad diet.