Kings Hammer Healthy Habits: Nutrition

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Kings Hammer is excited to bring you the first episode of Kings Hammer Healthy Habits presented by OrthoCincy. In this first episode, OrthoCincy experts discuss the topic of nutrition as it related to athletes.

For more information on the topic of nutrition check out the following provided by the experts at OrthoCincy:

Q1: How do you ensure athletes stay properly hydrated? 

A:   The best sign to know that you are hydrated is by the color of your urine. Well hydrated players should have a clear or yellow-ish clear fluid. If your urine is dark yellow, you are most likely dehydrated and need water. 

Q2: What role do electrolyte drinks play in hydration? 

A: Overall, water should be the main source of hydration. Water is perfect for practice, and for most games. Electrolyte drinks will be best for multi-game weekends or tournaments, where you need additional supplements to stay hydrated. Additionally, in warmer weather, electrolyte drinks are a good choice to help hydration. 

Q3: Can you explain the specific dietary needs of soccer players compared to other athletes? 

A: Soccer players require a significant amount of carbohydrates in their diet as they provide the primary source of energy for the muscles during high-intensity running and sprinting. The constant movement and running involved in soccer can deplete glycogen storage levels, so adequate carbohydrate intake is crucial to maintain performance. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Soccer players need a moderate amount of protein to support their training and recovery, but they typically don’t require as much as athletes in sports that involve more intense strength and muscle-building activities. 

Q4: How does proper nutrition contribute to the development of muscle strength and endurance in student athletes? 

A: Caloric Intake: To develop muscle strength and endurance, athletes need to consume enough calories to meet their energy expenditure. When there is a calorie deficit, the body may use muscle tissue for energy, which can hinder muscle growth and endurance. 

Mental Health: Proper nutrition can also impact an athlete’s mental well-being, which is crucial for motivation, focus, and mental resilience during training and competition… 

Q5: How does the nutritional plan differ for student athletes during the off-season compared to the competitive season? 

A: Off-season – During the offseason players should be more focused on strength training, recovery & repair, plus body comp goals. This could mean a higher amount of protein and overall calorie count to see results from muscle building. 

 Competitive-season – While in season, athletes need to be focused on performance optimization. This will mean having a proper balance of carbohydrate to protein to fats. Additionally athletes need to focus on meal-timing to avoid bloating/upset stomachs as well as managing fatigue during a match.  

Q6: Are there any pre-game or pre-training meal recommendations for soccer players? 

A: When planning a meal for pre-game or pre-training, it is important to have a mix of the three main macronutrients. Carbohydrates, protein and fats. This could include items such as whole grain pasta, baked potato, chicken breast, salmon filet, avocado, or olive oil dressing on a salad. 

Q7: What are some common nutritional mistakes that student soccer players make, and how can they be avoided? 

A: There are some common myths that professionals see student athletes make during the day. The first mistake is skipping meals. It is important for proper nutrition that young athletes eat full meals and/or have healthy snacks throughout the day. The second mistake is not hydrating properly. It’s important to be hydrating throughout the day and not just in the moments before a match or practice. The third mistake is choosing poor quality food items. It is important to avoid processed foods or low quality food items. Focus on whole foods to best fuel for competition.