Look, most people that read this blog are in high school or Jr. High and unfortunately you young men and women are not responsible for the grocery shopping at your house! What I am about to say may shock some of you, especially those of you whom think you are invincible and nothing can harm you! (I had the same problem in high school, yes it is a problem). What you choose to fuel your body with, has a direct reflection on how you perform!! Yes, sadly it is true. I don’t tell you not to eat McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Hot Pockets, Doritos, Soda, Juice, KFC, Candy Bars, just to help you avoid cleaning up your own vomit……..ok that is the main reason.
Junk: (Will make you Pukey at Apex)
Food that Fuels: (Will make you a beast)
It is a very corny slogan, but you are what you eat. The food you ingest today becomes the genetic make up of your cells in a few hours or tomorrow. Imagine you have the newest top of the line sports car that calls for Premium Gas, but you put unleaded in it because it is easier and more convenient. Wouldn’t filling that car with the cheaper gas damage it over time? ABSOLUTELY. You are actually doing the same thing to your body! Our body needs optimal fuel, especially when we put demands on it of training and competition. We need to fuel it for performance, recovery, durability……everything. This is a basic list of foods that should be eaten regularly for a performance based athlete at any level, very simple. It consists of REAL food, which means it can be hunted or gathered and outside of meat, it can be eaten right as it is, no processing or much preparation needed.
The following info was taken from crossfitfootball.com:
The simplicity of the diet blends optimum performance and health. We can’t say it any simpler than this.
Eat with abandon: meat, fowl, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables, roots, tubers, bulbs, herbs and spices as well as animal fats, olives & olive oil, avocados, and coconut (meat, oil, flour) and dairy*.
*Dairy is a gray area, while it is a powerful tool in the strength and weight gain category you have to be smart. Individuals with autoimmune disease should avoid dairy products of any kind. For those without autoimmune diseases, dairy from grass-fed animals is permissible. Dairy from grain-fed animals will not have an ideal omega 3 profile. Heavy cream, butter, and ghee should not be problematic. Occasional consumption of fermented dairy options such as cheese and yogurt is acceptable. Experiment with milk but eliminate it if it is found to be problematic.
**Pasteurized whole milk from grain-fed cows treated with rBGH offers an increased anabolic environment for the consumer.
Limit: nuts, seeds, and fruit.
Better choices in the nut category include macadamias, cashews, and hazelnuts. Almonds aren’t terrible. Seeds are generally rich sources of linoleic acid because they can be eaten in large quantities (the serving sizes are typically in the tablespoon to 1/4 cup range and can be misleading). Sunflower and sesame seeds are a terrible choices in the seed category. Soaking nuts prior to consumption is recommended but not necessary.
Reduce the serving size if you are going to pick a fruit that has a high metabolic fructose content.
Avoid: Cereal grains including: all varieties of wheat (spelt, einkorn, emmer, durum), barley, rye, oats, triticale, corn (maize), rice (including wild rice), sorghum, millet, fonio, and teff and legumes.
Grain-like substances or pseudocereals including: Amaranth, Breadnut, Buckwheat, Cattail, Chia, Cockscomb, Kañiwa, Pitseed Goosefoot, Quinoa, and Wattleseed (aka aacacia seed). Pseudocereals are the seeds of broad leaf plants whereas grains are the seeds of grasses.
The goal is to consume at least 1 gram of protein per lb. of body weight. The way to maximize muscle growth is to provide the body with adequate protein for growth and recovery, hormonal control for better body composition…and improved growth and recovery!
One gallon of whole Milk contains 2400 calories. This is an excellent source of proteins, carbohydrates and fat. Dense calorie sources are a must, like whole milk and meats.
There is growth potential beyond calories by consuming whole milk. Increased IGF, hGH, insulin, testosterone come from drinking whole milk. These are all potent growth promoters. Whey Protein acts similar to milk. It is a fast acting protein and a good supplement when trying to achieve 1 gram of protein per lb. of bodyweight.
For most Football players there is no calorie restriction. 4 to 6 meals per day is the goal.
Post workout or practice meals should contain proteins and carbohydrates. Whole milk and whey protein are ideal and a non-insulin mediated glucose transport takes place. So take advantage of growth and recovery potential post-workout by making sure to eat a protein and carbohydrate meal with 1 hour of working out.
A performance based nutritional approach is critical for success on the field and long-term health. Making progress on the field and in the weight room starts with proper nutrition. The key to gaining muscle, increased strength, and overall health come from paying attention to what you put in your body. The problem most people, athletes included, have is that the popular nutritional culture in this country is far from ideal. We have 16-year-old kids weighing over 300 lbs. because they believe this gives them a chance to attain a scholarship or play on Sundays. This is not a path to the NCAA or NFL; it is a path to obesity and illness. Being overweight is a problem and it doesn't matter if the athlete is a football player or not. Eating everything to put on size is not the answer. Don't power down junk food just to gain size, because the size you will gain isn't good weight. It is fat; it's useless, it will slow you down on the field, and will decrease performance and overall health
Although, absolute size and strength are vital, better body composition means a more powerful athlete.Recovery and muscle gains cannot happen with poor nutrition.
The eating habits we establish remain with us throughout life. It is very hard to eat one way while playing football and expect to change the diet after a football career is over. Good habits are formed while the discipline of training hard develops too.
Remember: what you don't know can hurt you. In this country the American Dietetics Association recommends a high-carb, low fat, grain-based diet. This is a pro-inflammatory diet, counterproductive for muscle growth, recovery and performance.
Grains cause stomach problems for some people and play havoc on your body's chemistry. Removing gluten improves digestion and improves recovery.
We are finding that a Junk Food diet causes even more problems than the ADA Diet. This is where an athlete consumes garbage calories with no nutritive value. This leads to decreased performance and excess body fat.
Look it is really simple, shop on the parameter of the grocery store, eat real food.....oh and a big part of this is, being set a part! Your friends are not going to be considering their diet on every meal or even some of the time sadly enough. But as a serious training athlete who wants to see gains and truly max out your genetic potential, you will take this seriously. No excuses, if you read this blog, now you have the info.....put it into practice. When you look back on pursuit of any athletic achievement the last thing you want to say is "what if" or "only if" or "Man, I worked hard everyday but I did eat like crap sometimes because I was lazy". Step up.
Slow kids don't get scholarships.