Recently what often seems like a constant barrage of athletes getting busted for PEDs it is more important than ever for our athletes to support their training in healthy and safe ways. As a coach, I have been asked numerous times about health related questions regarding weight, nutrition, and supplements. As a coach, I am flattered athletes trust me enough to chat about all aspects of their life. However, as a high school educator, these conversations must be had with the utmost respect and care. First, the weight question for me takes care of itself often through quality training. I never talk weight as a general rule, and my go to advice for talks about weight is “ignore the scale. What matters is how you feel. Are you stronger, fresher, faster, and most importantly happier?” If we can say “yes” to most of these questions, then we are moving in the right direction. I let my kids know gains in weight are common by the addition of muscle built through strength training. It is important for your athletes to understand these welcomed changes and how they are part of the process to becoming a better overall athlete. The supplement talk is a conversation a coach needs to prepare for when asked for advice from their athletes. If an athlete asks about taking supplements my fallback position is to ask them to journal what they have eaten for the next two weeks. When they journal, I ask them not to cheat and try to eat “better” just because we are going to look it over. Few athletes follow through with finishing the two-week journal. As much as I would want to force the issue this is something that needs to come from them and they should take ownership. The athlete needs to take the first step and responsibility before I feel comfortable having any further conversations what they are putting into their bodies. For the few athletes who finish the journal I have always found simple and practical changes that have NOTHING to do with cutting calories, dieting, or filling up on supplements. Instead of talking about what not to eat I try to steer the conversation with the athlete about what they should be eating more of on a daily basis. Commonly, young athletes are short of the daily recommend portions of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, or meat. In fact, if an athlete seems run down, tired, and slipping in performance I recommend a fourth meal to the parents. Some athletes just need to eat an extra meal after dinner. Typically, athletes are relieved to be told they can eat more. Often athletes are unaware the heavy training they’re doing could use MORE calories to keep their systems in balance and performance near maximum. Balance is important as Dr. Phillips explains in this clinic session https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W309KGy3byo for a company called juice plus.
As our athletes get older, a nutritionist wingman comes further into play because their bodies over time slow down and it is not as easy to cheat with bad food. In the sport of track and field, the little things indeed separate the winners from the “also rans.” Many of you reading this understand the fuel we consume plays a significant role in performing at our very best. There are some programs out there that are promising. Nutrition like lifting at the gym it is important to have a partner. A partner can help guide those in high-performance sports to make responsible decisions to manage what they need in their diet to train near 100% most days. There are many helpful people and options when taking the next step in performance nutrition. Sometimes a small change for older athletes can make all the difference in the world. If they have further questions, it would be good to point the athlete to a business or individual who’s profession is strictly nutrition. Juiceplus can be an excellent option. Coaches and athletes should feel comfortable going to www.juliemues.juiceplus.com for help.
Taking the conversation on performance nutrition further, it is important to understand numerous athletes still have a hard time managing their diet even with a lot of great options at their disposal. Athletes like many of us mere mortals need someone with a helpful hand, word of advice, or different point of view to keep you on track. The constant need for quality information means an athlete or coach might need a nutritional wingman around who can further attack numerous issues besides just diet. A nutrition wingman option is where someone like http://inspirewellnessstl.com/ comes into play. Their number one goal is to help keep the individual themselves from derailing the cause of higher performance. Inspire Wellness St. Louis and others like it will even help someone learn how to shop at the grocery store. More than ever athletes need to learn how to get better foods for homemade meals. Business like Inspire Wellness St. Louis can be the nutritionist and trainer wingman all in one package.
Finally, after all, the journals, health support, and consultations have been completed, supplements might finally be the options needing exploration. Recently, Carl Valle wrote a thorough article on supplements http://blog.insidetracker.com/top-supplements-sport-fitness-2016 for a company called Insidetracker. www.insidetracker.com offers sophisticated, science-based blood analytics, and tailored for individuals. Companies like Insidetracker help cut out all the guess work of what you are doing, eating, and how you are recovering for optimal performance. I have given you some options now it is time for your athletes or you to take the first step.