Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Snacks to Pack While Traveling

These foods can be packed in your bag and carried right on the bus with you. They are quick and easy snack ideas.
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Fresh fruit (apples, oranges, etc)
  • Bagel
  • Granola Bars
  • Granola
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, etc)
  • Baked tortilla chips
  • Whole grain Fig Newtons
  • Banana chips 
If you have a cooler on board these foods can also provide the healthy snack you are craving.
  • Cheese stick
  • Yogurt
  • Baby carrots
  • Celery sticks (with peanut butter, if desired)
  • Sliced fresh fruit 
Guest Blogger: Duncan Anderson, USD Dietetic Intern

Monday, August 19, 2013

Trouble making a grocery list?

Eating a variety of foods will help ensure you are meeting your vitamin and mineral needs.
Here are some suggestions to add to your "usual" grocery list.

  • chicken breasts
  • sliced turkey
  • canned tuna
  • lean ground beef
  • eggs
  • peanut butter
  • canned beans
  • nuts
  • bread, bagels, and English muffins
  • cereal
  • rice, pasta
  • potatoes
  • corn, peas
  • crackers, pretzels, popcorn
  • snack bars
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • tomato or V8 juice
  • tomato sauce
  • salsa
  • frozen mixed vegetables
  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • onions
  • garlic
  • apples
  • bananas
  • oranges or orange juice
  • pineapple
  • pears
  • peaches
  • raisins
  • olive or canola oil
  • butter
  • jam, jelly, honey
  • salad dressing
  • salt and pepper
  • cinnamon

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Eating for Sport - Cross Country

Long distance running is demanding on the body; not only with energy requirements, but with the toll it takes on muscles. For that reason, proper nutrition cannot be over-looked. Miles add up very quickly throughout the course of the season so having a nutrition plan to help you keep up with your nutrient needs is absolutely necessary.

Photo Credit: Women's Health Magazine
Are you meeting your energy demands? A 10 mile run could burn around 1,000 calories! A diet for runners should be comprised of mostly carbohydrate. By now, I am sure most of you have heard coaches or other people tell you to eat carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, when metabolized in the body, are converted into glucose. It is glucose that it is stored in muscles as glycogen. Your body is only able to store up to certain amount of glycogen and then it must be replenished by food after it is depleted. It is not like fat where your body has a high storage capacity.

Become familiar with foods that are high in carbohydrate. You probably already have some favorite pre-event snacks, but take a minute to look at them closely to see how much carbohydrate they actually offer you. Your carbohydrate intake should reflect how much you are training. If you doing extra training that day, eat more carbs. Your daily carbohydrate needs should be in the range of 3-4.5 grams per pound of body weight.

Protein and fat are still important in an athlete’s diet. Protein is needed to help build and repair muscle tissue. Eat approximately 0.55-0.64 grams per pound of body weight of protein per day.

Fat is needed for the absorption of some vitamins, insulation, and the production of hormones in the body. Fat should make up about 20-35% of your total calories for the day. Focus on unsaturated fats due to their added health benefits.

Being too restrictive with calorie intake will negatively affect your performance because it will not allow your body to properly fuel and refuel for your events. For women, eating too few calories can cause disruptions in her menstrual cycle. Loss of menstruation is not a normal part of training and should be discussed with a physician. The low levels of estrogen related to missing periods can impair bone mineral density, which can increase the risk for developing other health concerns such as osteoporosis.

A common nutrition concern for long distance runners, especially females, is iron. Many runners are at an increased risk for developing an iron deficiency, especially if they do not eat a lot of meat. When people suffer from an iron deficiency, they feel fatigued. But before running to the store and buying iron supplements, please seek advice from your personal or team physician. Iron supplements, like other supplements, have the potential of causing adverse effects if they are taken when they are not necessary.

Ready to head out for your long run? Choose a pre-exercise snack that, of course, is high in carbohydrate but also lower in protein, fat, and fiber. Eating foods that are high in these will likely cause some stomach upset while on your run because they take your body longer to digest. The longer time you have before you run, the larger meal or snack you can have without worry about it bothering your stomach. Don’t forget about eating after you get back! Eating a snack immediately after your run will help you replenish your energy stores. Choose a snack that is high in carbohydrate, but also offers some protein. Protein will help repair your muscles and allow you to recover more effectively before your next run. You are not done with your training until you eat your post-run snack!

As with any other sport, making sure you have adequate hydration is key to optimal performance. It only takes a 2% loss of body weight caused by dehydration to significantly impact your performance.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Soy Foods and the Athlete

Are you interested in learning more about soy foods and how it can fuel sport? Whether it is because you are vegetarian looking for ways to meet protein needs or you are curious in different types of proteins, this consumer report complied by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will provide helpful information. 

Photo Credit:
For general nutrition information, a good resource to know is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website,

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


In sports, there is always an emphasis on the importance of pre-workout, pre-game, and pre-race preparation. Obviously, we want our bodies to be as well equipped as possible (by sleeping, hydrating, and eating properly) to compete at the highest level against our competition. Although, I wonder if athletes understand how crucial post-workout, post-game, and post-race refueling is. After workouts and competitions it is vital that the body is replenished with the right foods and fluids in the correct way. Here are three quick tips to refueling…

1) Carbohydrate to Protein Ratio (4:1)

*Refuel with foods that are four parts carbs to one part protein. After exercise carbs can be more easily stored as recovery fuel and protein allows the body to rebuild what it loss.
*Examples include: chocolate milk, peanut butter with a banana, fruits and nuts.

2) Replace Fluids Lost

*Drinking 16-24oz of adequate fluids for every pound lost during working out. For those of you out there who don’t weigh yourself before and after your workouts… follow a simpler rule: Pee till it’s a pale yellow color (lemonade).

3) 30 Minutes

*It is key that athletes begin to refuel and rehydrate no longer than 30 minutes after working out. The longer athletes wait to refuel the longer it takes to recover. Getting something in the body ASAP after exertion will allow for increased storage.

Guest Blogger: Krista Creager, nutrition student at South Dakota State University

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Vegetarian Recipes

Here is a collection of quick, healthy vegetarian recipes from CookingLight Magazine. A dish like this one below, pasta with sun-dried tomato pesto and feta cheese, is a carbohydrate rich meal that is would be perfect for replenishing glycogen stores to prepare for a long run. Nutrition information is included with each recipe. Now get into the kitchen and enjoy!   

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Feta Cheese
Photo Credit:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hitting the Wall

As athletes, I am sure you have all heard the expression "hitting the wall." That feeling when you have nothing left to give during your workout or competition. Do you really know what is happening inside your body? 

Photo Credit:
When an athlete "hits the wall" it means that he or she has exhausted all of their stored carbohydrate (glycogen) in their body, which leaves the body running on empty. The body uses both fat and carbohydrate as fuel sources when exercising, but during high-intensity activities such as running or cycling, your body relies on carbohydrate for the main source of energy. Your body will not exhaust all of your fat stores during activity, but it can deplete your stores of carbohydrate.

This condition can by avoided by beginning your activity well-nourished with your carbohydrate stores full. During long longs or rides, be sure to take in carbohydrate through whole foods or sports drinks. The recommended amount is about 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of activity.