In this article:
- The nutritional values of “alive” foods (pure proteins, healthy fats, enzymes, etc.!)
- The importance of consciously preparing healthy meals
- Healthy snack suggestions for on-the-go parents of “hungry jocks”
- How to take advantage of nutrient timing for performance enhancement
In May 2011, registered dietician Julie Burns, owner of the athlete performance enhancement organization SportFuel, and Eat Like the Pros professional athlete meal plan delivery and nutrition resource, was quoted in the Chicago Tribune talking about feeding your “hungry jocks” nutritious foods that rot (just making sure to eat them before they do!). So what happens when your “hungry jock” no longer considers dinner to be a meal for athletic fuel, but only a snack?
Julie Burns’ Gospel for Hungry Jocks
Follow Julie Burns’ Gospel for “hungry jocks”: “Eat foods that will rot and spoil, but eat them before they do.”
Burns explains this concept with a box of sugary cereal and what happens when you leave this box of cereal in your cabinet for an extended period of time. “You come back… you can still eat it.” However, foods that rot as Burns explains are better for you because they are alive and have enzymes. These foods that rot “create high performance” because they are pure proteins, healthy fats, and minimally processed carbohydrates that have the nutrients and enzymes packed right inside of them!
As Burns says, “The truth is if we don’t prepare to eat well, we’ll eat poorly.” If kids are at an all-day sporting event, like a swim meet, a rowing regatta, or a sports tournament and they are bombarded with granola bars, PB&Js and juice galore, what do you think they will end up eating?
Processed foods that do not rot! Parents are encouraged to prepare ahead of time and make every food count. So what snacks does she suggest? Pack sports foods including: hard boiled eggs, yogurt, turkey jerky, pumpkin seeds, nuts, dried and fresh fruit in a cooler and bring it with you!
Sports nutrition is all about nutrient timing, or being able to take in the right number of proteins, carbohydrates, and fluids at a time when your body can best use them. Burns explains this by talking about how she deals with the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team to create high performance with nutrient timing.
A few tips that Burns suggests in the article include:
- Consider grass-fed beef (or quality beef sticks)
- Add a green drink to your day (#SportFuelGreens)
- Add lemon to your water
- Drink at least one 8-ounce cup of green tea every day
- Eat liquid-form carbohydrates and protein immediately after training
- Eat ½ teaspoon of unrefined sea salt every day for essential minerals
- Try Brazil nuts, they have great benefits including the mineral selenium and anticancer characteristics
- Add coconut water to your routine, it is great for electrolyte replacement