MOARfit Clinic: Nutrition for Athletes

MOARfit Clinic: Nutrition for Athletes

Last week, I put on my first MOARfit Nutrition for Athletes clinic at Earth Treks Climbing Center in Columbia, MD in partnership with Relay Foods (more on this awesome company later in the post). With my attentive audience of 35 rock climbers, I discussed healthy, non-processed options for optimal energy fueling pre-, during- and post- workout. I also covered topics ranging from proper nutrition for specific goals for weight loss, muscle gain, and healthy tendons/ligaments to information on a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.  Keep reading and you’ll get a nice snapshot of my most important takeaways for proper sports nutrition. Finally, the best part, I demoed two of my MOARfit recipes (below): one for pre-workout fuel and one for post-workout recovery.

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Rules to Live By for Pre-, During- and Post-Workout Fueling:

PRE-WORKOUT DURING WORKOUT POST-WORKOUT
  • Lots of water (and avoid diuretics)
  • High carb, low fat and low protein
  • Solid meals 3-4 hours ahead of event
  • Liquid or light meals 1-3 hours before
  • Consume complex, nutrient-dense carbs  (e.g. oatmeal and dried fruit) but avoid too much fiber (GI upset)
  • Eat foods you can easily digest
  • Stomach should be relatively empty prior to physical activity
  • For early starts, eat your heaviest meal the night before
  • Don’t skip meals for late-day events
  • Fluid replacement for athletic events lasting longer than 30 min
  • Carb replacement for athletic events lasting longer than 1 hour (to replenish glycogen)
  • Additional sodium (an important electrolyte) may be necessary for physical activities lasting more than 4 hours (tournaments, ultramarathons, etc)
  • 10-20 g of protein within 1 hour after physical activity to improve muscle repair
  • Carb-rich meal within 2 hours following event
  • Fluid and electrolyte replacement (sodium, potassium, calcium)
  • Ideal recovery meal is 3:1 carb to protein (e.g. Ezekiel bread w/ raw honey and almond butter, a banana, and 8 oz unsweetened soy milk)

My Key Takeaways:

  • Ideal caloric intake breakdown for athletes: 25-35% fat: 15-20% protein: 55-60% carbs
  • Post-workout you only need 10g protein for muscle repair and no more than 20g (unless you are in a weight training program); most American diets already surpass the RDA
  • Turmeric, basil and cinnamon have powerful anti-inflammatory properties to help muscles and joints. Ginger has been shown to relieve muscle pain and calm an upset stomach.
  • Our body needs fats for peak physical performance because they help us absorb vitamins A, D, K and E which are important for bone density, repairing muscle cells and promoting blood clotting. Some good fats are avocados, olive oil, walnuts, and raw almond butter.
  • You do not need supplements but if you take them, do your research: supplementwatch.org
  • Eat whole, healthy, real foods. Avoid hype and health claims, and ingredients that are unfamiliar, unpronounceable, number more than 5, or that contain high-fructose corn syrup.

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The Recipes: Pre- and Post-Workout Fuel

(1) MOAR’S PRE-WORKOUT HIPPIE FUEL (AKA GRANOLA):

(makes six ½-cup servings)

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup walnuts pieces
  • 2 Tbs whole chia seeds
  • ¼ cup dried cherries, unsweetened
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate bits (dairy-free)
  • 2 Tbs raw honey
  • ¼ cup raw almond butter, unsalted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne (or more to taste)

How to Make It:

Preheat oven to 325F. Heat coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oats, coconut and walnuts to pan, cooking for 5-8 min until toasty but not burnt. Remove from heat. Add chia seeds, cherries, chocolate, honey and almond butter to the warm dry ingredients. Give everything a good stir until it all comes together. Spread mixture in an even layer across a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 min until crunchy (stirring once halfway through). Dust with cinnamon and cayenne, toss and let cool.

Nutrition Facts: 330 kcal; 20 g fat; 37 g carbs (7.6 g dietary fiber); 7 g protein

(2) MOAR’S POST-WORKOUT RECOVERY GREENIE:

(makes two 16-oz servings)

What You’ll Need:

  • 10-oz rice milk
  • ½ small avocado
  • 1 medium banana (ripe)
  • 2 Tbs basil (~10 leaves)
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1” fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs whole chia seeds
  • 5 Tbs hemp protein powder
  • 2 ½ cups kale, chopped (2 handfuls)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
  • ½ cup ice (1 cup of fresh pineapple)

How to Make It:

Add all ingredients in the order listed to your blender. Blend at high speed until smooth.

Nutrition Facts: 338 kcal; 15.3 g fat; 42.8 g carbs (20.5 g dietary fiber); 19 g protein

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SHOUT OUTS:

The workshop was a success, in no small part thanks to my amazing partner Relay Foods. Relay is a super convenient online grocery store where you’ll find all the stuff you need from the best local stores, restaurants, and farms in and around your own neighborhood. I got almost all of my recipe ingredients from these guys and was very much pleased/impressed by the quality. If you’re going to try out my recipes, I’d encourage you to also try out Relay Foods. I’ve saved my shopping list called “Nutrition for Athletes” to make it even easier for you to get things going.

I also want to add that this event could not have happened were it not for the great staff at Earth Treks Columbia who share my belief that athletic performance and nutrition go hand-in-hand. Big thanks to everyone out there in Maryland!

If you’re interested in having me do a Nutrition for Athletes clinic at your gym, yoga studio, school or other venue, please contact me directly via email: amy.rizzotto@gmail.com.