Sports nutrition basics

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Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a casual athlete choosing the right foods to energize your workout can help you be your best.

Kate Patton, a sports nutritionist at Cleveland Clinic said a basic staple in any athlete’s diet is carbohydrates. “I would recommend having some quick carbohydrate containing snack. It can have a little bit of protein, too, but not too much protein. You need some carbohydrate to give you a quick burst of energy.“

Patton added that carbohydrates will give you the energy to fuel your workout, while protein helps to build muscle.

she said fibrous foods are a good part of any diet, but may not work so well just before a workout or game, that’s because fiber makes us feel fuller, longer, which could slow you down, and, if you’re exercising to maintain, or lose weight, you need to watch your calorie count.

Patton also recommends breaking up your plate into sections. She said, “So, make about a fourth of your plate some type of grain or starch, a fourth of your plate protein, and half your plate non-starchy vegetables. And having a little fruit or milk with that meal is still OK, too.”

For athletes who are trying to shed a few pounds… Patton recommends smaller meals, eaten more frequently throughout the day.

this keeps you from overeating and allows you to burn the calories more quickly.

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