Softball Keeping Fit and Dieting by benbenzhou


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A softball player should focus
primarily on consuming an
adequate amount of energy
throughout the day to fuel her
training sessions and practice. In     Pre-Game Meal
addition, focusing these efforts on
the right balance of nutrients is      Should be consumed 3-4 hours
important to maintain a healthy        before competition. This meal
body.                                  should include carbohydrate-rich
                                       foods balanced by a lean source of
Carbohydrate needs are not as          protein and minimal fat.
high as some other athletes. Using
a range of 4 - 6 g/kg of                   * Grilled chicken sandwich with
carbohydrate will supply a softball    side salad, pretzels, and sports
player with enough carbohydrates       drink.
to fuel her muscles during                 * Subway sandwich with deli
workouts and practice without          meat, baked chips, and lemonade.
providing too much. She should             * Oatmeal, 2 pieces of toast
rely on whole wheat/grain              with peanut butter, and orange
products and high fiber fruits and     juice.
vegetables to meet her daily               * Pasta with sliced grilled
carbohydrate needs.                    chicken, steamed broccoli, topped
                                       with marinara sauce, and water.
Protein is necessary to help
maintain, build, and repair            As game time approaches, smaller
damaged muscle. Using a range of       carbohydrate-rich snacks are
1.5-1.8 g/kg of protein will provide   appropriate if the athlete feels the
her muscles with enough fuel for       need. Bagels, pretzels, animal
building and repairing muscle. The     crackers, trail mix, granola bars,
best sources of protein are lean
meats, fish, poultry, and eggs.
                                       fresh fruit, nutria-grain bars,
                                       energy bars, sports drinks, and
                                       saltine or graham crackers are
Fat plays an important role in         good examples of carbohydrate-
hormone production, body               rich snacks that the athlete can         Healthy eating tips
temperature regulation, protection
of body organs, and in the
                                       easily pack and bring with her to
                                       have on hand.
                                                                                 to maximize your
absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
The American Heart Association
recommends getting no more than
30% of total calories from fat and
this same guideline applies to
athletes as well. Olive oil, canola,
oil, nuts, and seeds are all
excellent sources of healthy fats       Sponsored by the College of Nursing/
that athletes can include on a daily
                                        Student & University Life Partnership
                                               with Athletic Training
 Diet for athletic Performance                                                                              Athletes come in different sizes and shapes,
                                                                  Eat Regularly                             and follow different types of training programs.
The training period offers you an excellent                                                                 While they may all follow these nutritional
opportunity to establish sound eating            Breakfast is especially important because you need         rules, their meals may look quite different.
practices that will benefit you on the playing   food to start the day. Your body begins the day in a       Athletes who train strenuously for many hours
field as well throughout life.                   low-energy, fasted condition. Teens who eat                each day will need to eat large amounts of
                                                 breakfast score higher on physical fitness tests.          carbohydrates and calories. Big tall athletes
         Make Snacks Count                       Breakfast can be made up of any combination of             will need to eat more than petite athletes such
                                                 nutritious foods that you enjoy eating. Spaghetti and      as gymnasts. Many athletes need to organize
Choose snacks that contain more than just        meatballs, together with an orange juice and a glass       their meals to fit around their training or
calories. When you eat out with friends,         of milk, is a nutritionally sound meal for any time of     competition schedules.
choose something nutritionally sound, like a     the day-even breakfast!                                    Keep yourself in shape with a body fat level
cheeseburger with a slice of tomato and                                                                     that suits your sport--eat the right amount of
lettuce leaf. How many food groups are                   Check Your Diet Frequently                         calories for your body size and training
present in this sandwich? What might you                                                                    program.
eat along with this sandwich to make an          Spot-check your daily diet at least once a week. Are       Keep your muscles fueled for training and
even better snack?                               you eating at least the minimum number of servings         competition by eating plenty of carbohydrate
                                                 from each food group each day? How can you use             foods. Make room for these foods by reducing
   Look for Extra Food Energy                    the food quide pyramid as a tool to make                   the amount of fat.
                                                 improvements?                                              Enjoy a variety of nutritious foods to provide
Teenage athletes burn up more calories than                                                                 youself with all the protein, vitamins, and
non-athletic teens. You can fill this            How can you tell if your diet is stacking up?              minerals that your body needs. Your need for
requirement by eating more food from all         Nutritionists have developed a food-quide system in        some of these nutrients will increase because
food groups. Carbohydrates are the most          the shape of a pyramid that can help you rate or           of your heavy exercise program.
efficient fuel for your body during strenuous    evaluate your diet. This guide divides food into five      Look after fluid needs. Drink before, during,
exercise. Get most of your extra energy          groups on the basis of the nutrients each group            and after exercise sessions to prevent yourself
from foods like starchy vegetables and           provides. By eating the recommended amounts of             from becoming dehydrated.
whole grain or enriched bread cereal, rice,      food from each group daily, you can greatly increase
or pasta instead of from fatty foods. For        your ability to get all the nutrients you body needs--     For more information go to:
example, on an athlete's plate, a baked          and that will improve your ability on the playing field.
potato should get the nod over fries.

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