3 Foods to Avoid Before a Workout

Food is what fuels your human machine, so choosing the right kind of fuel can go a long way towards optimizing your performance. This article focuses on things to avoid before your workout.

Too much protein

Protein is, of course, an important part of any athlete’s diet, and getting at the right time around your workout. Too much of it before a workout or a game can leave you feeling too full or lethargic – neither of which you want.

Fried and Fatty Foods

Any food with a lot of saturated fat ought to be avoided. This type of fat molecule takes a long time for your body to digest, stay in your digestive system longer, and can lead to bloating, cramping, or diarrhea.

Foods high in fiber

Even though your doctor might want you to up your fiber intake, doing so right before you want to break a sweat might have some unpleasant consequences. Fiber certainly gets the digestive system moving, which is exactly what you don’t want when you’re trying to give 100% to a competition or training session.

There’s a lot more to be said about nutrition before, during, and after training or competition, so check back for more in the future, and if the topic interests you, start researching!

Sources:

http://www.health.com/weight-loss/foods-to-avoid-before-a-workout

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/9-foods-avoid-workout/

https://blogs.usafootball.com/blog/1078/3-foods-to-avoid-before-practices-and-games

Tips to help you eat better when you travel

travel food

Travel is a necessary component of competitive sports that can start as early as middle school. When you’re on the road, all the careful planning and meal prep you do at home to guarantee your body gets all the nutrition it needs for optimal performance suddenly disappears. Your body already has to contend with a host of challenges that can’t be helped – jet lag, long periods of time spent sitting on planes, strange beds, etc. – so change something you can control and make sure you’re still fueling your body well.

Prepare for Success

First and foremost, plan ahead. How long is the trip? How much of that will be spent traveling? How much food are you likely to need on the plane? Can you make arrangements ahead of time for healthier in-flight eating? What kind of food will you have access to wherever you’re going? Answering these questions will help you form a plan and avoid the trap of grabbing whatever is easiest because you’re hungry.

Stay Hydrated

Recycled air on planes and in airports is dry and will dehydrate you faster than normal, thus requiring you to replace what you’ve lost more frequently. You can’t bring bottled water through security, but you can bring an empty, reusable bottle and fill it up at the bottle-fillers most airports have these days. You’ll feel better when you land and won’t feel any of the cravings that dehydration can cause.

Bring Your Own Snacks

Probably everyone who has ever traveled regularly has fallen into the trap of grabbing whatever is most convenient. Your flight might be boarding in the next two minutes, or maybe you know you’re about to be on a long flight and that bag of chips or candy bar looks like the bit of comfort you need to make it a little more tolerable.

We’re not here to say you shouldn’t ever have indulgences, but bringing your own, healthier snacks will help avoid impulsive choices that you will regret later. Below are a few nutritious options to keep you fueled and feeling good.

  • Fresh fruits and veggies: When you’re traveling, something you can eat with one hand is always welcome. Baby carrots and grapes fit nicely in a small plastic bag, and bananas and oranges come in their own container!
  • Almonds: Pack them easily into a small container for a protein-packed snack.
  • Pre-Packaged Single-Serving Options: These days there are plenty of snacks already packaged into a convenient travel size. Hummus cups go great with your baby carrots, and single-serving peanut or almond butter makes a nice addition to your banana or apple slices.
  • Make Your Own Protein Bars: A quick internet search will turn up far more recipes for protein bars than you will ever need. Make them in bar form or roll them into balls for a handy, nutritious snack.

All you need is a little planning and you’ll never have to wonder how you’re going to avoid hunger on the go again.

Do athletes need a bigger engine or better brakes?

When it comes to training for performance, many, if not most, people immediately thinking about being faster and more powerful. After all, victory often depends on getting to the ball, finish line, goal line, end zone, or basket before your opponent. This is the same as buying a new car with only one concern: How big is the engine? How fast can it go? How quickly does it get to 60mph?

This is, of course, very important to athletic performance. However, if we stick with our car metaphor, what’s going to happen if you buy a brand new Ferrari but the breaks don’t work? It won’t matter how fast you can go, because, without breaks, you can’t control all that speed. In fact, the majority of non-contact injuries happen in just this way: athletes can’t manage stopping because they don’t have strong enough brakes and something, well, breaks.

So which one should you pick? The answer is that it depends. If you’re an explosive athlete who can’t change direction quickly, then you probably need better breaks. If your top speed blows away your competition but it takes you too long to get there, then maybe you need a more powerful engine. The first step is to assess where you are now and where you need to be.

At Velocity, we use a battery of tests to see where our athletes are strong and where they need to improve. Based on this and other information, like injury history and goals, our coaches can make smart decisions about what our athletes need in order to improve their performance.

If you want to see how your brakes and engine are working, contact us and schedule testing!