The HPCT #7: High Performance Nutrition

The High-Performance Chalk Talk #7

*This is the seventh installation of what will become a weekly email covering high-performance training. *

High-Performance Nutrition

The biggest limiting factor in high-performance is nutrition and the sad thing is that the majority of athletes I talk with have no clue what proper nutrition looks like.  Now, just to be clear, I am not a nutritionist.  However, there are guidelines that every individual I coach should follow when it comes to fueling their body for peak performance.

For the majority of my clients, I require that they do a food journal which contains everything they eat or drink over a three-day period (2 weekdays, 1 weekend day).

It always blows my mind what kids are putting in their bodies and what parents are providing for these athletes to eat.  Not to be rude, but, it’s 2017, we have so much information about the negative effects of sugar yet parents are still stocking the house with soda and giving their kids Lucky Charms for breakfast.

So, with this in mind, here are the nutritional guidelines I lay out for my clients….

3 for 3

  • Consume a modestly sized meal every three hours that contains each of the three major macronutrients (Protein, Carbs, Fat).

Eat Breakfast Everyday

  • Your breakfast should be before 7AM and consist of high protein, high carb, and moderate fat. Now, I know I’ll get asked this question so just to clear things up – A PROTEIN SHAKE IS NOT BREAKFAST.

If it Had a Life You Can Eat It

  • Remove processed foods from your diet. Eat foods that were alive at some point.  By doing this you will almost completely remove processed sugar and the great majority of junk from your diet.

Eat Before Bed

  • Prior to going to bed consume either a casein protein shake or cottage cheese. This is a slow-delivery protein that will keep your metabolism working while you sleep.

Meal Prep Every Week

  • This allows you to never leave anything to chance. My athlete’s meal prep their breakfast, lunch, and snacks for Monday-Friday.
  • Here is a sample breakfast meal prep:

To be clear, there is a lot more to nutrition than these five guidelines, however, following these five principals makes it very simple to have an effective nutrition strategy.

Now that you know the major guidelines, I am going to cover what an ideal nutritional day should look like. As we go through each meal, I will lay out an ideal option for that specific meal as well as the macronutrient makeup each meal should have.

The Athletes Ideal Nutritional Day

Meal 1: Breakfast

  • Timing: Between 6 and 7AM
  • Ideal Option: Scrambled Eggs, Sliced Avocado, and Whole Wheat Toast
  • Macro Layout: High Protein, High Carb, Moderate Fat

Meal 2: Mid-Morning Snack

  • Timing: Between 9 and 10AM
  • Ideal Option: Protein Shake OR Grilled Chicken, Mixed Nuts, and Fruit
  • Macro Layout: High Protein, Moderate Carb, Moderate Fat

Meal 3: Lunch

  • Timing: Between 12 and 1PM
  • Ideal Option: Lean Protein (Chicken/Steak), Green Salad, Mixed Nuts
  • Macro Layout: High Protein, Moderate Carb, Moderate Fat

Meal 4: Mid-Afternoon Snack

  • Timing: Between 3 and 4AM
  • Ideal Option: Protein Shake OR Sandwich (Deli Meat, Whole Wheat Toast)
  • Macro Layout: High Protein, Moderate Carb, Moderate Fat

Meal 5: Dinner

  • Timing: Between 6 and 7PM
  • Ideal Option: Lean Protein (Chicken/Steak/Fish), Green Salad, Sweet Potato
  • Macro Layout: High Protein, High Carb, Moderate Fat

Meal 6: Late Night Snack

  • Timing: Between 9 and 10PM
  • Ideal Option: Casein Protein Shake OR Cottage Cheese
  • Macro Layout: High Protein, Low Carb, Moderate Fat

Now, depending on individual body composition goals the makeup of these meals will vary a bit. However, the number and frequency of meals need to stay the about same. As an athlete, your performance is dictated by what you put in your body.

Think of your body as a racecar, if you fill it with low-grade gas the car will run but not nearly as effectively and powerfully as it would if you put premium gas into it.

As one of my mentors always said… “You cannot out-train poor nutrition”

So, on Sunday, take an hour today and plan out your meals for each week.  Prep your breakfasts, lunches, and mid-day snacks so that there is never a chance of you missing a meal or eating something that slows you down.

Be smart about your choices and take accountability for your nutrition.

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