FILL YOUR TANK!
Make sure you never run on empty!
Athletes wanting to perform their best need to give their bodies adequate energy.
Underfueling occurs when nutrition intake does not meet training demands. This can result in:
- Chronic fatigue
- Sore muscles
- Getting sick
- Hormonal imbalance
- Low motivation
- Mood swings
- Anxiety or depression
- Trouble sleeping
ARE YOU AT RISK OF RUNNING ON EMPTY?
If you checked 3 or more of the boxes, it’s very likely that you’re underfueling!
Failing to eat enough food to support performance can be intentional or unintentional. If an athlete is drastically restricting intake to control weight, this can lead to more serious problems, such as disordered eating or a condition called “RED-S.”
Stay out of the RED-S
RED-S stands for Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport. This is a state of chronic underfueling that causes symptoms such as:
- Decreased hormone levels
- Decreased metabolism
- High risk of bone fracture
- Decreased immunity
- Heart problems
- Changed menstrual cycle
- Sketch out your day and plug in meal and snack times.
- Bring food with you so you’re always ready when hunger strikes.
- Make enough so you have leftovers for quick and easy future meals.
- Keep in mind that most athletes need 3 meals and 3 snacks each day to meet energy needs!
- Remind yourself that all bodies are different and yours is specially designed to be its best!
- Think of food in a positive way. Phrases like “Carbohydrates give me energy to train” or “I can choose the foods that are right for me” can be helpful as you go through your day.
- Focus on the hard work you’re doing in training to reach your goals. Remember that nutrition is a big piece of that success.
PUMP IT UP!
- Add high-calorie foods to your meals: nuts, seeds, avocado, cheese, sour cream, olive oil, dried fruit
- Add a new snack to your current eating routine
- Switch to full-fat dairy or add an extra spoonful of nut butter.
- Commit to learning more about the importance of eating well for sport and health.
- If you’re struggling to feel good about your body and eating, talk to a trusted coach, parent or sports dietitian.