2. Basic Nutrition Guidelines

Jim Maxwell's Advice:  Basic Nutrition Guidelines

Here are some basic nutrition guidelines: how to maintain a healthy weight  and provide the body with quality nutrients, the building blocks for your athletic  and growing body.

Don't eliminate any food group
Protein, quality fats and oils, carbohydrates and water are the macro nutrition food groups. All are required for long term balanced nutrition.

Calories in -- Calories out
Eat no more than your body burns. By monitoring your weight, you can learn to consume the calories you need. Athletes burn more calories than sedentary people. This is why athletes need to eat more. We burn about 100 calories for each mile we run. 5 miles a day is 500 more calories. This will be a 20% increase in nutritional requirements to maintain your weight. Maintaining your weight is critical. Young athletes, with growing bodies need to daily weigh themselves, and not move into weight loss as running distances build up.

Eat often, don't go hungry.  Hunger is the body telling you it needs nutrients, listen to you body. The old idea of 3 meals a day is just that, old theory. Multiple  smaller meals, healthy snacks, post work out recovery eating, is current sports nutrition science.

Consume a colorful variety of foods
Nutrients,minerals, vitamins are linked to color in food.  Tomatoes, blueberries,  dark chocolate, leafy greens,colored bell  peppers and a variety of  fruits form a rainbow of nutrient density.  The more colorful your choices are the better it will be for you.

Everything counts in moderate amounts
There are no "bad" foods. What is bad is too much of one food. Variety is the key. Ice cream is fine, in moderation, once in a while. Same goes for any food item.  Variety results in physiological access to all the nutrients you need.

The less processed a food is the healthier it is for you
When a food is processed, nutrient value is taken out of it, to the point where it is often "enriched" in order to add nutrients back in. The closer a food is to its pre-harvest state (the vine) the more quality it will have. Get in the habit of reading the nutrition label on all food you buy at the store. Also read the ingredients listed. Are these things listed "food" or is this a science experiment?

Eat real food, the less processed the better.

These are basic guidelines and this is not intended to force change. The complete athlete needs to learn the basics of sports nutrition.

See you on the trails,

 Jim Maxwell