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“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you
have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God
in your body.” - 1 Cor 6:19-20
“Performance is about fuel. Longevity is about recovery”
Proper nutrition is extremely important for all high school athletes. All sports require energy to
generate athletic movements. Therefore, knowing what to eat, and when to eat, is critical for your
performance. Athletes are always looking for the edge over their opponents. Nutrition and proper
supplementation is often overlooked and could be that edge. Nutrition does not only impact strength,
speed and stamina, it impacts recovery as well. As athletes, it is your responsibility for making nutrition
a priority; after all, food is fuel for the body. You must provide your body with proper and efficient
fueling to optimize your performance. As a Providence Christian Academy athlete, I challenge you to
take care of your body so that it can perform at your maximal potential. As important as spiritual,
mental and physical training, is your ability to rest and recover. Proper nutrition will allow your body to
prepare for any demand you may place on it. The following guide will help you make the decisions
necessary to achieve your goals.
5-6 Meals a Day
• Goal: 5-6 small-medium meals or snacks daily.
• Eating every 3-4 hours will assist controlling the appetite, regulate blood sugar level
(helping give energy and alertness), and building lean body mass.
• 3 meals will be “snacks”
• 1-2 meals will be “pre” or “post” workout meals/snacks to help maximize the effectiveness of each
• When you do not eat often, the most available substance to consume will be protein, causing the body
to break down valuable muscle mass and keeping fat in store as long as possible.
How Can You Eat That Much?
• You do not have to eat large portions. Eating smaller portions more often gives the body
a better chance to digest and get all nutrients from food.
• Piece of fish /meat should be size of deck of cards, starches (rice, pasta, etc) should
be size of fist, Eat as many vegetables as you can
• If working out early a.m., take “pre-workout meal”: watered down orange juice with
Peanut butter toast, glass of milk with low carb meal-replacement bar, etc.
• Protein-rich shakes: Myoplex Deluxe Low-Carb EAS, GNCʼs Mega MRP, Total
Nutrition drink mix by Met-Rx, Muscle Milk
• Ideally, should have a shake right after workout, speeds up recovery and maximizes lean muscle
• Carbs: the more active you are, the more you need. It is best to eat most of your carbs earlier in the
• “Taste the Rainbow”: No, not skittles! Try to eat as many colors of fruits and vegetables as possible as
each contain different vitamin/minerals
• See Appendix A for Meal Plan Examples
Carbohydrates are the main, preferred source of energy for the body; they are critical nutrients for the
athlete who has high-energy demands during physical activity. Stamina, power and endurance are
dependent on adequate carbohydrates in the diet. Ideally, most athletes require 50% – 55% of their
daily caloric intake to come from carbohydrates. Endurance athletes may need more carbs in their diets
due the nature of their sports. Carbohydrate foods with lower fat should be emphasized, e.g. wholegrain bagels over doughnuts, mashed potatoes over fries, grilled chicken over fried, frozen yogurt over
ice-cream. Increasing the amount of carbohydrates in your diet will provide you with more available
energy during practice and games. Avoiding fried foods decreases the risk of unnecessary weight gain,
increase body fat percentage, and upset stomach, which hinders performance.
During the pre-season, carbohydrates should be the main fuel source. Players will not recover in time for
the next practice unless carbohydrate intakes are adequate. Foods high in carbohydrates are fruits,
breads, grains, pasta, vegetables, fruit juices and dairy foods.
You can achieve a daily carbohydrate intake of 250 grams by eating the following food groups:
4 servings from milk group
2 or more servings from meat group
8 or more servings from fruits and vegetables
8 or more servings from grains, breads and cereals
• Glycemic index: measures how quickly a single food will raise blood glucose level.
• Eating something with a high glycemic index will raise blood glucose levels rapidly,
But will leave the body open to a crash and resultant sluggish feel
• You want to eat moderate to low glycemic index foods unless right after a workout
• Generally, the lower the glycemic index a food has, the less processed it will be
(baked potato(low) – mashed potato(moderate) – French fries(high))
• The goal is to produce a meal that is a moderate carb when balanced with all foods
on the plate
• Carbs that are highly processed, low in fiber, and have high fructose corn syrup
(HFCS) should be the ones to avoid
• Every gram of carb we eat, we store 3 grams of water
• Carbs are important to an athlete! Stay away from the NO CARB diets (even if you
want to lose weight!)
Protein is an important part of life and nutrition; it is the substance that composes a large portion of
your body’s structure. Proteins are made up of amino acids arranged in different combinations. Next to
water, protein is the most abundant substance in the human body. It is part of all body cells and is a vital
building block in the growth, maintenance and repair of the body tissue.
What evidence is there to support or disprove claims that high intake levels of protein help build muscle
mass and better athletes? Muscles are made mostly of protein, so logically one would think that the
more protein in the diet, the more muscle one should have. Certain types of exercise, weight lifting for
example, do stimulate muscle growth. So, a combination of weight training and large amounts (the
more, the better) should be beneficial, right? Not exactly. The most recent indications are that dietary
protein in excess of the current recommended dietary allowance (0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of
body weight per day) is likely needed for optimal muscle growth. The current recommended dietary
allowance doesn't seem to be enough for elite athletes who are training every day, who are growing, or
who are training especially hard right before an event. However, the benefit appears to plateau at
intakes well below the levels typically consumed by many athletes. Thus, for best results, a diet high in
protein is beneficial for muscle growth, but only to an extent. Once a certain intake level is reached, any
additional protein taken in will not help build muscle mass any more.
Endurance athletes differ from strength training athletes because they do not develop the muscle mass
that weight training athletes do. Endurance athletes, nevertheless can benefit from protein intakes over
the recommended dietary allowance because the exercise they participate in does still alter protein
metabolism, in a different way. In weight training glucose is used for energy and because weight training
is intense, fat and protein is not generally used for energy production. The protein intake increase for
strength athletes is to supplement and help tissue and muscle rebuilding, after the exercise. Because
endurance athletes exercise for long periods of time, (2 - 5 hours at a time) they can use protein as a
source of 5% - 10% of their total energy expended. This protein needs to be replaced as well as protein
that is used for tissue repair, thus an elevated level of intake can be beneficial. The same applies to
endurance athletes as strength training athletes -- a point exists at which any more protein taken in is no
longer beneficial.
• Protein(Pro) is vital with every meal as it will help build and maintain muscle
• Pro is responsible for healthy blood cells, key enzymes, and a strong immune
system (to fight off colds and disease)
• Protein will ONLY be used to build muscle if you eat enough carbohydrates for the
body to use as energy. If no carbs are ingested, the body will use proteins for energy
• Should consume between 0.6 and 0.8 grams of Pro per pound of body weight (180lb
man = 108-144, the more you want to gain weight, the more toward the higher end
of scale)
• “The less legs, the better”: The less legs an animal has when alive, the better the
ratio of protein to fat (fish (great) – chicken (good) – cow (ok))
• Lean red meat is good (>92%) and contains: iron, phosphorus, and creatine
A common misconception about excess protein in the diet is that it can cause kidney damage; excess
protein cannot cause kidney damage even though it does make the kidneys work harder. When protein
is metabolized nitrogen is a by - product; the kidneys work to remove the extra nitrogen from the body.
As of yet, no studies have found a high rate of kidney problems in strength athletes as would be
expected if too much protein caused kidney damage.
High intake levels of protein can lead to increased water loss because the body excretes water to
dispose of urea, a substance formed in the breakdown of protein. Water loss coupled with the fact that
most athletes loose a great amount of water through sweat, can lead to dehydration if fluid intake is not
properly monitored. An excess of purified protein can, however, take calcium away from bones, thus
predisposing one for osteoporosis.
• Fats are crucial to good health
• Fats release energy slowly, regulate blood sugar levels, and lower the glycemic
response to the foods you are eating
• Give nutrients, antioxidants for cellular repair of joints, organs, skin, and hair.
• Some help with mental clarity and memory (fish and flaxseed oils)
• UNSATURATED fats are good, saturated fats are bad
• Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature (oils)
• Not all unsaturated fats are good, trans fats are bad (vegetable shortening), they
raise LDL cholesterol (bad). Found in fried foods, cookies, pies, margarine, etc
• Best fats come from nuts, fish oils, and seeds
• Fish oils have powerful antioxidant properties which assist mental clarity and
cardiovascular health.
• Breakfast is exactly that = “break the fast”, when you awake the body is in a fasted
state and it is vital for athletes to stop the fast prior to activities
• Breakfast ensures that the body will not tap into its muscle for energy source
• Little or NO caffeine: abuse may damage adrenal glands (hormone generators)
• Breakfast should include: protein, carbs, good fats, and fiber
Lunch and Dinner
• Make sure to have a combination of proteins and carbs (with fiber)
• Plate should have lean protein, bright colored carbs and have some good fats
• Check Appendix A for meal samples
• Should contain combination of high-fiber carbs, proteins, and good fats
• Protein shake or higher protein meal replacement bar good option
• Meal replacement bars should contain: 15-30 grams protein, 8-20 grams of carbs,
few grams of fat (EAS Advantage bar, Met-Rx Protein-Plus, Detour, Balance Bar)
• Late night, prior to bed time snack, choose something that will last: Left over dinner
(small portion), protein shake, green apple with pʼnut butter, etc
Pre-Workout Meal
• Essential Amino Acids with carbohydrates
• Make sure you have carbs for energy and proteins for muscle building/regeneration
Post-Workout Meal
• Protein supplement bar or drink
• Whey Protein (Chocolate Milk may be just as effective and less expensive)
• Multivitamin and antioxidant complex (Vitrin) daily (in am or at bedtime).
✓ Antioxidants reduce free radicals (damaged cells) in our body which results in
helping fight of both short term and long term sickness and disease.
• Creatine
✓ Creatine is naturally produced in the human body from amino acids primarily
in the kidney and liver. It is transported in the blood for use by muscles.
Approximately 95% of the human body's total creatine is located in skeletal
muscle. The rest is located in the brain or heart.
✓ warning - seek medical advice first!
• nutritionist
• does not mean it will work!
✓ non responders - genetic based. 1/3 of all athletes will have no response.
✓ It works (HUGE volume of scientific data to support this claim)
• donʼt be fooled by BIG claims however - at best will get a 20% increase
• max continuous jumps
• repeated jump squats
• repeated sprints
• anaerobic power & muscular endurance
• improve 1RM Bench (as well as other max strength tests)
✓ It is safe (again... HUGE volume of scientific data supporting this claim)
‣ no long short medium or long term effects on kidneys
‣ less cramping, less injuries
✓ general intake guidelines – drink lots of water!
• loading phase for 5 days (1 week) - max 20g/day, check label
• maintenance phase for 7 weeks - max 5g/day, check label
• OFF for 4 weeks (1 month) then repeat, starting with loading phase
• more is NOT better!
✓ Whey - post exercise
• chocolate milk is a great option!
✓ Casein - evening “meal/snack”
• DO NOT get “suckered” into buying any other supplements, they either will not work
or could be potentially dangerous.
• Drink a gallon of water a day. 2 cups when awake, 2 glasses with every meal, and
before, during and after a workout… carry a water bottle or jug with you all day!
• Research shows performance increases 25% with proper hydration
• The clearer the urine, the better hydrated you are!
Weight Loss
To lose 1 to 2 pounds a week you must subtract 500 to 1000 calories per day to equal
3,500 calories per week.
• Eat more fruits and vegetables
• Limit fast food intake or make healthy fast food choices
• Drink more water
• Limit your amount of soda, candies, desserts, and other simple sugars.
• Do not eat any fried foods.
• Restricting Carbs will lead to loss of muscle mass which = loss of strength and decreased performance.
• Do not skip meals, but do decrease portion size. It is usually not the pasta that is the
problem but the amount that you choose to eat! A little off the top at each meal works
very well. For example, eat 25 chicken wings instead of 40, drink a 12-ounce
beverage instead of a 20-ounce glass, or eat a 12-ounce steak instead of one that is
24 ounces.
• Trim calories by cutting down on condiments and snacks.
• Many find it easier to lose weight by eating smaller, more frequent meals that are
more evenly divided throughout the day, instead of three meals.
• Decrease calories from beverages by diluting juices, choosing diet soda or ice tea,
and using smaller glasses.
• Include filling foods such as protein and foods that require chewing: salads,
vegetables, a baked potatoes, meat, fruits.
• When eating fast food, choose regular instead of super-size meals.
• Put snacks into a bowl instead of sitting down with the whole bag.
Weight Gain
To gain 1 to 2 pounds per week, you must add 500 to 1000 calories per day to equal
3,500 extra calories a week. Simply put: you must take in more calories than you burn
• Eat 4 to 5 meals plus 2 to 3 snacks a day.
• Start a meal with food, not liquids, so have the sandwich first, then the shake.
• Replace low-or no-calorie beverages with juice, lemonade, milk, and sports drinks
instead of water.
• Try to eat one-quarter more at every meal and snack.
• Keep snack food around to nibble on.
• Add higher calorie foods to every meal: granola instead of sugared cereal.
• Add nuts to cereal or snacks.
• Eat bagels instead of bread.
• Add more protein, but only four ounces more a day, through food, not supplements.
• Choose cheese, low-fat lunchmeats, an extra piece of chicken, milk and yogurt.
“If I had a magic drug that was so fantastic that if you took it once you would win every
competition you would enter, from the Olympic decathlon to Mr. Universe, for the next
five years, but it had a minor drawback – it would kill you five years after you took it –
would you still take the drug?”
• 52% of Elite Athletes surveyed indicated that they would take the drug – Bob
Goldman, Death In the Locker Room, (1984)
(even more frightening is that a higher percent of younger athletes stated they
would take it!)
Winning is that important in our society. College scholarships are a major investment
that can reach up to $150,000 in value. Professional athletes can earn millions of
dollars in salary and endorsements if they hit a few more homeruns, score a few more
touchdowns, or run just a little faster.
Because we are so focused on outward goals and results, many opt to win at any cost.
Steroids and performance enhancing drugs have become an easy method to achieve
those desired end-results.
Why take Steroids?
• Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids chemically modified to remain in body for a longer
period of time than naturally occurring substances
• Increase strength and body-mass gains, create an environment for muscle building,
ability to maintain high intensity and volume of training, decreases recovery needs
between training sessions
• Athletes can train harder and longer in order to get greater end-results
• Increased self-esteem (weakly founded), feelings of invincibility
Why AVOID Steroids? (besides being illegal!)
• Cardiovascular System
o Increase cholesterol
o Increase Blood Pressure
o Heart Disease
• Skin
o Acne
o Baldness
• Endocrine System
o Gynecomastia
o Impotence
o Testicular atrophy
• Illegal
o Schedule III Drug (Any Amount) = Fines & Jail Time!
• Hepatic System
o Increased Liver damage & tumors
• Immunological System
o AIDS (resulting from sharing needles)
• Musculoskeletal System
o Premature growth plate closing
o Increased tendon tears
• Psychological/Behavioral
o Aggressiveness
o Mood swings
o Psychotic episodes
With ALL the negatives, why do we continue to accept taking the risks? Again, winning
is THAT important in our society. Fortunately, there are ways to achieve positive goals
without having to rely on short-cuts and cheating. Athletes, parents & coaches need to
be educated on the correct ways of training, nutrition, & supplementation to avoid lack
of results and frustration.
What else is there?
• Training – There are no short cuts!
“The most effective training is both Simple and Hard”
o Proper training programs that include movement prep, speed & agility,strength & power, recovery &
regeneration, and conditioning
o PCA offers a Sports Performance Program for student athletes which is designed to incorporate the
above standards of proper training programs.
• Nutrition
o Use this guide as well as possibly consulting a Licensed sports Nutritionists available in local Atlanta
• Spiritual Growth
o Our personal relationships with God and our continued pursuit to become better Christians will enable
us put sports into perspective and see that, although sports are wonderful endeavors that build
character and prepare us for life, what truly matters is our acceptance of GOD’s gift; HIS grace which
allows for forgiveness of our sins and eternal salvation; as we walk with Christ, we come to realize that
true victory is in following God’s Word and striving to become men and women of strong Christian
Character and Integrity.
• Pancakes, waffles, or French toast w/syrup – no butter
• Egg sandwich – no cheese
• Unbuttered English muffin, bran muffin, bagels or toast w/preserves, jelly or apple
• Low-fat milk or yogurt w/fresh fruit and a bagel
• Low-fat granola bars – Kelloggʼs, Nature Valley, Kashi
• Dry or cooked cereals w/or w/o milk w/fresh or dried fruit
• Pita bread stuffed with peanut butter (high in calories) and raisins and cottage
cheese, or veggies and low fat cheese.
• Vegetables or chili stuffed potatoes
• Salad bars: use low fat dressings, veggies, dried beans, beets, carrots, pasta, and
add crackers, rolls, or bread
• Pack lunches: Sandwich whole grain bread, fruit, fig bars, and vegetables or soup
• Pastas with meat or meatless sauce
• Tacos without sour cream
• Baked or broiled meats instead of fried
• Fantastic soups or pasta meals that can be reconstituted water
• Fast Food restaurants: Grilled chicken sandwiches, grilled hamburgers, roast beef
sandwiches, baked potatoes, or salad bars (no mayonnaise, special sauce, butter,
sour cream etc.)
• Thick crust pizzas with veggies – no extra cheese
• Meats should be baked, broiled, or grilled instead of fried
• Pasta with clam sauce or marinara sauce
• Shellfish in tomato sauce or steamed without butter
• Chicken breast without the skin with rice and vegetables
• Stir fry dishes with lean meats and lots of vegetables in minimal oil
• Grilled salmon, tuna, swordfish, or mackerel
• Whole grain crackers
• Graham crackers
• String cheese
• Low-fat yogurt
• Dry-roasted nuts
• Bread sticks
• Pretzels
• Dry cereal
• Fresh fruits
• Dried fruits
• Fruit juices
• Bagels
• Bread, bagels, pita, muffins, biscuits or rolls with less than 2g of fat
• Cold cereal with less than 2g of fat
• Hot cereals
• Corn tortillas
• Air Popcorn – Unbuttered
• Pretzels, Rice cakes
• Pasta, Rice, Barley
• Crackers with 1g of fat
• Fresh vegetables
• All fresh fruit
• 1% Low fat or skim Milk
• 1% Low fat Yogurt
• Cheeses with 2 or fewer grams of fat/oz.
• Frozen dairy desserts with 2g of fat or less 1/2 cup
• Beef: Top Round
• Beef: Eye of Round
• Pork: Tenderloin
• Chicken breast without skin • Egg Whites
• All dried beans, peas
• Canned Fish packed in Water