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Blog Category: Just for Teens

Nidhi: What I Learned as an Eat 2 Perform Intern

Nidhi: What I Learned as an Eat 2 Perform Intern

Coming into my first internship, I was really nervous. I didn’t know if I knew enough or what would be expected of me. Throughout the internship, I got the chance to take what I had learned in school and use that to develop nutritional plans, write blogs, and create social media content for the company. It was definitely a challenge, learning all these new skills. However, it opened up so many new doors and interests. After completing this internship at Eat 2 Perform, I am excited to start my life in the working world.

 

Developing a Client’s Nutritional Plan

I was able to develop a nutritional plan for a real client. Creating a nutrition plan for an imaginary person in class is very different than creating a plan for a real client. I found out the client’s calorie needs, hydration needs, carbohydrate requirements during workouts, the percentage of macronutrients within the diet. Each part of this assignment came together to build a clear and understandable plan for the client. It was definitely a learning experience, but every step of the way I knew that I was helping someone become their best self.

 

Blogging

I got to utilize my writing skills. I have never blogged before, so learning how to write a blog was both tough and exciting. I got to write about several topics that have been taught in my classes. I learned how to change my writing styles, how to create exciting, yet readable content, and how to find what content will be enticing for readers. The hardest part of this was not writing in a research paper structure, even though there was a lot of research that went into creating the blogs. Writing in a way that is light, but informative when creative writing is not my strong suit was challenging. It took a while to learn all of these skills, but once I was able to put it all together, I was able to write a solid blog.

 

Social Media

I have seen marketing through social media, but I never really understood how much work and research it took to post one instagram story or facebook post. Before posting anything, the team would look through facebook, twitter, instagram, and other blog websites to see what common topics were. From that information, the topics for posts would be created. It was exciting to see the step by step process as these posts came alive.

I came into this internship completely unsure of what I wanted to do in the future, but I am leaving it with open eyes. The mistakes I made throughout this internship have given me the opportunity to learn more than I can in a classroom. Because of this, I know now that I want to help people become their best selves. I want to aid in improving their health, fitness, or lifestyle. Coming out of this internship, learning several different aspects of nutrition and marketing, I feel much more confident in pursuing my passion.

by Nidhi Pradhan

 

How could knowing more about nutrition help you or your teen perform their best on the field? Check out the Teen Nutrition Workbook to find out:

Teen Sports Nutrition Workbook

Bad Disguised as Good: 5 Of The WORST Nutrition Bars

Bad Disguised as Good: 5 Of The WORST Nutrition Bars

Nutrition bars can be good fuel for those continuously on the go. But these bars should not be relied on for replacing actual meals, since they are missing nutrients that are found in balanced foods. Eat them in moderation. Be careful when choosing nutrition bars, as some of them may contain high amounts of added sugar, fat and artificial ingredients, which can make them more of a fortified candy bar rather than a nutrition bar.

Beware of:

1) Zone Perfect Chocolate Peanut Butter

When you see corn syrup and sugar listed twice on the ingredient list, that’s a sign of concern. This tells us that these bars are probably made with cheap ingredients that add little or no nutritional value.

2) PowerBar Protein Plus Chocolate Brownie

This bar is loaded with 27g of sugar coming from various sweeteners such as fructose, malitol, and cane invert syrups. Also contains various non organic soy that is processed, meaning that the soy may lose some of its nutrients through the processing method and leave it less nutrient dense.

3) Clif Bar (White Chocolate Macadamia Nut)

Yes this bar may be made from all organic ingredients, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good bar. There’s still a lot of sugar packed into this bar with 21g. Even though this Clif bar is high in sugar content, not all Clif bars are made the same.

4)  Oh Yea! One (chocolate birthday cake)

This bar has some decent macronutrient values with 20g of protein, 1g of sugar, and 22g of carbs. Even though this bar only has 1g of sugar, that 1g of sugar comes from many artificial sweeteners that give it that birthday cake taste.

5) GoMacro Macrobar Peanut butter Chocolate Chip

These bars are 100% plant based ingredients, but don’t be fooled. They contain more calories than candy bars with 290 calories and also contain a decent amount of sugar with 14g. 20% of its calories is coming from sugar. Just beware if this is where you want your sugar intake to come from.

 

by Owen Ng

 

So what healthier choices should you make for your competition? Check out the Sports Nutrition Workbook for more info!

Sports Nutrition Workbook

 

References

https://morellifit.com/10-worst-protein-bars/

http://www.eatthis.com/best-protein-bars/

https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/best-and-worst-nutrition-bars-women

 

Energy for Competition Day

Energy for Competition Day

Performing in all day competitions during the weekend can make it difficult for athletes to sustain energy levels throughout the day. Knowing what foods to snack on can be tricky because you want to eat something nutrient dense that will also give you an extra energy boost without slowing you down.

1. What should your Competition Meal Be?

The bulk of your meal should include carbohydrates with some proteins and fat. Proteins will help with building and repairing muscles, but only very little is utilized for energy. You also want to try to limit fat intake, as this is usually only utilized in endurance runners for energy during prolonged continuous activity.

Remember timing of meals is just as important as what you eat.

  • 1 hour prior to competition 1g/kg of carbs should be consumed.
  • 2 hours prior competition 2g/kg of carbs should be consumed.
  • 3 hours prior to competition 3g/kg of carbs should be consumed
  • 4 hours prior to competition 4g/kg of carbs should be consumed

If you are someone who gets upset stomachs when eating right before competition, consider liquid meals such as shakes, juices or sports drinks with carbohydrates, etc, as these liquids should be easier to digest and still provide some of the carbs you need. Eating simple carbs closer to competition provide a quicker energy boost. Watch out for foods high in sugar that can cause crashes. Complex carbs such as whole grains in breads, grains, and pastas, as well as vegetables and fruits are great choices for a steady source of energy throughout the day.  Some carb choices to include are oatmeal, pasta with tomato sauce, pancakes or waffles. Your can also try a liquid meal such as a protein shake mixed with fruits, which include combination of carbs and proteins.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate …. Oh did I say hydrate? 

Drink water before the onset of thirst and stay hydrated throughout the day. Your body cannot perform at optimal levels when your dehydrated.

If the competition is

  • less than 1 hour – water is recommended to replenish fluids lost through sweat.
  • longer than 1 hour – should include a sports drink such as Gatorade to help replenish electrolytes that water cannot do alone.  

Remember to not over hydrate. Hyponatremia can occur which is a dilution of sodium in your blood that could cause swelling of the brain, confusion or muscle weakness.

3. 3 Simple Rules for Post Game Recovery

Post competition meals should include a combination of proteins and carb rich foods to help aid recovery. Most importantly don’t forget to drink water and hydrate!

Hydrate with water to replace fluids lost through sweat. Sports drinks can also be used to hydrate after prolonged high intensity activity lasting longer than 1 hour, but should be limited due to high sugar contents.

Protein is an essential part of athlete recovery because it enhances protein synthesis, which aids in muscle repair and muscle building. Chocolate milk can be a good source of recovery because of its high protein and carb content to aid in quicker muscle recovery.

Carbohydrates will help replenish muscle and liver glycogen stores that have been used up during competition. Consume 1 hour post competition to ensure optimal uptake of carbs.

 

by Owen Ng

Interested in learning more about sports nutrition? A workbook may help you reach your goals!

Further Reading:

Teen Sports Nutrition Workbook

Sports Nutrition Workbook

6 Portable Protein Snacks

Name That Grain

Making Weight

Making Weight

Losing 5% or more of body weight is not uncommon in athletes that participate in weight division sports such as wrestling, boxing, judo, etc. Some athletes at higher weight classes cut weight so that they can compete at lower weight classes, hoping to get the upper hand over the smaller opponent. Knowing how to safely lose weight without compromising health can be difficult too. Keep these ideas in mind when determining your approach towards making weight for competition: 

1. Fluid restriction

Be cautious when restricting fluids within 24 hours of competition, can take 24-48 hours to recover fluids from dehydration due to fluid restriction. It can be hard to recover and can negatively impact your performance. Fluid losses of 5% or more can be life threatening, which is why small amounts of fluids should be lost at a time.

The longer the fluid restriction the higher the chances of diminishing your ability to rehydrate and endure the heat. It can increase risk for heat injury due to reduction in sweat loss and cooling mechanisms within the body.

Fluid restriction permits greater retention of electrolytes compared to energy restricted diets, and sweating practices from increased exercise. It allows more rapid hydration when used as acute weight loss strategy. Although, long term fluid restriction with increased exercise activity can lead to increased electrolytes being lost through sweat. Fluid restriction increases chances of dehydration, leading to decreased aerobic performance. The extent to which performance is decreased depends on dehydration approach, and degree of weight loss.

2. Energy restriction

Be careful when restricting meals for weight loss close to competition, especially when low in carbs, as physical and mental performance may be hindered.

Lean body mass (LBM) is lost during energy restricted diet weight loss plans, which can potentially reduce strength due to lack of energy intake & increased exercise activity. To minimize loss of LBM, 1.5g/kg-2.0g/kg of protein should be consumed  during energy restricted diets.

When combing energy restricted diets and increased exercise activity give yourself enough time to recover. The closer rapid weight loss is to competition, the higher the chance of hindering physical and mental performance. Acute weight loss of 6% body mass or less involving both energy restriction and dehydration practices shows no differences in performance of wrestlers and judo athletes.

High carbohydrate diets should be consumed after weigh in, to replenish depleted muscle glycogen from energy restricted diet, which may lead to diminished performance.

Now that you know a little something about different weight loss strategies, determine which one best accommodates to you. Practice weight loss programs before jumping right into one, so that you know the effects it has on your body close to competition, which can help you determine the best strategy to use for weight loss.

by Owen Ng

6 Portable Protein Snacks

6 Portable Protein Snacks

If you have been keeping up with the latest nutrition science and research, the macronutrient, protein has been the star of the show lately.

What we know about this nutrient is that it’s main roles in the body is to build muscle, help with making enzymes, hormones and other blood chemicals. It also makes hair, nails and works as a building block for bones, cartilage, skin and blood.

That’s not why it’s the star of the show though. It’s the star of the show because for 4 calories a gram, it keeps you full for a long period of time. If weight loss is a challenge for you or a busy schedule prevents you from eating frequent meals, these snacks will help!

  1. Jerky – any animal muscle will do, so pick your favorite- beef, salmon turkey, bison, you’ll find some different options out there. 1 ounce of jerky gives you 7 grams of protein and usually very little fat.                                            
  2. Nuts – most nuts will give you around 7 grams of protein per ounce and packed with lots of fiber and healthy fats. These will definitely hold off your hunger between meals.                                                                
  3. Roasted chickpeas – These are probably the newest kid on the block in the US but in Asia and Middle Eastern countries, they have been enjoying this snack for centuries. Half a cup of these delicious chickpeas give you 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and 22 grams of complex carbohydrates.                                                                 
  4. Pumpkin seeds – Who would have thought? Not just for enjoying during the fall months but year round. You’ll find these with yummy seasonings, like cajun, curry, sea salt or just plain. Packed with protein and fiber, 8 grams and 7 grams, respectively for 2/3 cup.                             
  5. Edamame – dried or fresh. Don’t be afraid to eat soy! That’s for a whole other blog but these little green beans give you a lot of nutrition. 1 cup gives you 17grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber and they are delicious!                            

You can also mix it up! Try mixing some of these for a homemade trail mix or adding them to a to go salad.

by Alene Baronian