Promote Efficient Training With This Guide to Healthy Summer Eating

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STACK Image: Summer Eating Plan

By now, you're probably part way through one of STACK's 8-week, sport-specific summer workout programs [all detailed at summer.stack.com]. Among your goals: build muscle, get lean and become as fast as possible, so that when the season starts, your hard work will be rewarded with a string of Ws.

To ensure success, don't forget the other major factor in the equation: nutrition. It significantly impacts how well you train and whether you achieve your performance goals. To maximize energy so you can train efficiently, James Harris, CSCS, who has consulted for NFL, NBA and NHL teams, guides you through a healthy summer eating plan. Check out his fuel tips and sample meals, below.

Breakfast
Harris: When you sleep, your body endures a long period without nutrients, so replenishing them in the a.m. is crucial. A breakfast consisting of 55 percent carbs and 25 percent low-fat protein will energize your body and jumpstart your metabolism.

Mid-Morning
Harris: Eat a light mid-morning snack to keep your metabolism stimulated.

Lunch
Harris: Lean meat and whole grains should provide the bulk of your calories. Add a piece of fruit or a veggie to help you reach the daily recommendation of 25 grams of fiber, which regulates digestion, removes toxins and reduces large spikes in blood sugar.

Pre-Workout
Harris: Thirty to 45 minutes before training, grab a 300-calorie snack to give muscles some energy to burn.

Post-Workout
Harris: To aid recovery, within 20 minutes of training, eat a post-workout snack—a moderate combo of protein and carbs. Besides replenishing lost energy, it will prepare your body for the next workout.

Dinner
Harris: To provide a large amount of nutrients, which also play a big role in recovery, feed your body even more at dinner. The meal should consist of lean meat and whole grains and a large serving of fruits and vegetables.

Evening Snack
Harris: Stimulate your metabolism and keep your body in a positive energy balance.

SAMPLE MEALS

BREAKFAST A.M. SNACK LUNCH PRE-WORKOUT POST-WORKOUT DINNER P.M. SNACK
Half of a whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter; 4 egg whites; water or low-fat milk; multi-vitamin String cheese Turkey, roast beef or ham with provolone cheese on whole-wheat bread; trail mix; baby carrots;
water, low-fat milk or a sports drink
Half of a peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread; water or a sports drink 

 

8 oz. chocolate milk Spaghetti* with lean meat sauce; steamed veggies
*Whole-wheat pasta enhances the meal
Cottage cheese and fresh fruit

Remember to drink a lot with each meal and snack to ensure adequate hydration. And never skip a meal, because doing so can lead to muscle breakdown, which causes you to burn fewer calories, have less energy and recover more slowly from workouts.

Photo:  elitenutritiondc.com


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: PROTEIN | ATHLETE MEAL PLAN | WORKOUTS | NUTRITION | WATER | ENERGY | SPORTS | TRAIN | RECOVERY | BREAKFAST | CHEESE | FRUIT | LUNCH | DINNER