Whether your winter sport is swimming, track, spinning or skiing, high performance starts with good fuel. 4 or more hours before your sport, try a large plate of pasta, quinoa or rice with meat, poultry, fish and vegetables as a side dish. Why? An athlete whose diet contains too few carbohydrates experiences fatigue and ultimately poor performance. How many carbohydrates do you need? 2.5 to 6 grams per pound of body weight each day, depending upon duration of your practice and its training intensity. 4 hours before your event, aim for 1.5 grams per pound of your body weight. 1 cup of pasta, quinoa, and rice, 1 bagel, or 1/2 cup of grape-nuts each contain about 50 to 60 grams of carbohydrate. 1 cup of lentils, 2 slices of bread, 1 and 1/2 cups of beans, and 1/2 cup granola each contain about 40 grams. A large banana, 1 large glass of orange juice, and 1/4 cup of raisins each contain about 3o grams. So if you weigh 150 pounds, your 4th period lunch consisting of a plate of pasta (2 cups 120 grams) with tomato and meat sauce (25 grams), a side salad with 1 cup of beans (35 to 40 grams) , a medium banana with 2 tablespoons peanut butter (30 grams total) and a glass (8 ounces) of milk (12 grams) will fuel at great 3:30PM practice.
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“Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, March 2009