Foods High in Starch: Pastas Macaroni Spaghetti Noodles Ravioli Dried beans Lima beans Navy beans Kidney beans Rice Brown rice Wild rice White rice polished or unpolished Breads Rolls & Muffins Crackers Sliced breads Pancakes Dried peas Split peas Lentils Black-Eyed peas Starchy Vegetables Potatoes Carrots Peas Corn Winter squash Sweet potatoes Cereals Hot cereals (like oatmeal) Cold cereals (like wheat flakes) Avoid highly sugared cereals
Make sure your pre-game meal plans follow these guidelines: Allow enough time for digestion. Eat the meal at least three hours before an event. Choose a meal that's high in starch. Starch is easy to digest and helps steady the levels of blood sugar. Consume only moderate amounts of protein. Protein foods take longer to digest than starch. And high-protein meals may lead to increased urine production, which can add to dehydration. Limit fats and oils. They take too long to digest. Restrict sugary foods. Sweets can cause rapid energy swings in blood sugar levels and result in low blood sugar and less energy. Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the body to increase urine output, which can contribute to dehydration problems, and a full bladder can be very uncomfortable. Watch out for foods that produce gas. Certain raw vegetables, fruits, or beans may cause problems for some young athletes. Be aware of the foods that cause you problems, and avoid them just before an event. Within these guidelines, chose foods you like to eat. Remember to drink plenty of fluids with your pre-game meal.
Top 10 Fruits & Vegetables According to Cornell University, diets rich in antioxidants (veggies are full of them) are linked to improved lung function and may prevent respiratory diseases such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Broccoli Cabbage Cantaloupe Carrots Kale Mangoes Pumpkin Red bell pepper Spinach Sweet potato * Strawberries make the list if purchased organically.
Calcium Absorption No caffeine – caffeine increases the excretion of calcium in urine. Avoid too much protein – too high of levels seems to leech calcium from the bones – animal protein seems to have a worse effect than plant protein. Avoid high levels of sugar – sugar blocks the absorption of calcium…be careful of skim milk – it has more sugar than 1 & 2%. Avoid a diet high in sodium – people with diets high in sodium seem to have a much higher incidence of osteoporosis.
How to do it… Variety: try to have a variety of colors and foods – grains, veggies, meat or protein rich food. Prepare smaller, more frequent meals. Ideally 4-5 meals. Snack on fruits, veggies, & nuts during the day. Drink at least ½ your body weight in water. Don’t drink soda or coffee. Try to have a diet low in sodium and sugar Keep it natural – steer away from processed food when you can and buy organic whenever possible. When cooking, use extra virgin olive oil, stay away from margarine, again natural is better.
Further reading… Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions Dean Ornish, MD has several books. Michael Colgan, MD – Optimum Sports Nutrition Calcium info - http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium.html http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium.html How to buy cheap organic food - http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cheap/2004090 1a1.asp http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cheap/2004090 1a1.asp
And remember… Stay Away From Fast Food… (if you need some encouragement watch the movie Supersize Me)