Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CHO, Fat, Protein.. How Much Should Athletes Eat?

The guidelines below are dietary recommendations specific to athletes.  Elite endurance athletes who exercise at higher intensities will need to stay within the upper limit of the range due to muscle damage caused by repetitive/ rhythmic movements.  This will ensure that the muscles are refueled for the next workout.

Carbohydrate: The main focus should be on consuming more complex carbohydrates than simple sugars.
  • Daily Intake: 6-10 g/kg/day
  • Precompetition: 1-4 g/kg one to four hours before the event
  • During exercise (food): 25-30g carbs/ 30 min after one hour
  • During exercise (drink): 6-8 oz. water or sports drink every 10-15 min OR based on thirst levels.
  • After exercise (must be within 30 minutes!): ~1.2-1.5 g/kg/hr

Fat: Do not modify. Stay within 20-30% of total caloric intake. 10% should come from saturated fats- bulk should consist of poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids.

Protein: For athletes, the requirements are higher. Recommendations vary by discipline:
  • Strength Training: 1.6-1.7 g/kg/day
  • Endurance: 1.2-1.4 g/kg/day
  • NOTE: Exceeding 1.7 g/kg BW provides no additional benefits... excess will be converted into fat!
Mickleborough, Timothy. "Nutrition for Sport." Physiology. Indiana University. School of Health Physical Education and Recreation, Bloomington, IN. 10 Aug. 2010. Lecture.