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Saturday, October 4, 2014

What Athletes Eat To Win

This article is a little dated (I think Eric Snow retired from the NBA  after the 2008 season), but the information is just as valid, and maybe even more so now. All US Sports Online Strength and Conditioning Programs come with our state-of-the-art nutritional meal planner.

  • What Athletes Eat To Win
    Three top athletes, a professional basketball player, a triathlete and a rodeo clown, reveal the dietary regimens they say help them maintain peak performance.
    Eric Snow
    Professional Basketball Player

    I try to be conscious of my diet, partly because I can't knock off the pounds as easily as when I was younger and partly because you don't want to be too full playing in the NBA.
    Some guys eat whatever they want, but I stick to a fairly consistent regimen: On game days, breakfast consists of a bagel or some toast and a piece of fruit; when we don't have a game, I might have a bigger breakfast such as pancakes. But if I eat a really big breakfast on game days, it throws me off: I might be full until 4 p.m., so I'll skip lunch and can't eat because it's too close to game time.
    Lunch is usually my big meal,some pasta or chicken. On game days, that's all I have until after the game. Then, I might eat something like a turkey sandwich or a salad,  something just to tide me over. I'm usually not hungry after a game and don't want to eat a heavy meal before going to sleep. I may splurge on ice cream, but that's pretty much it for junk food. And I never eat pork or beef. Before I was in the NBA, I ate a lot more food and still felt hungry. Now, I feel satisfied.
    My biggest concentration for competing is to drink enough. I drink four 32-ounce glasses of water or Gatorade throughout the day, including one at every meal. That's the real key drinking enough. Eric Snow is the starting point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers.

    Doug Stern

    How and what I eat before exercise depends on many factors, the distance or duration of a race or workout, how long I've been training, the weather, but one thing always is constant: fluid intake, which is 8 ounces every hour throughout the day. During intense exercise, you can sweat as much as 8 ounces every 20 minutes.
    When I was competing, I trained about two to three hours a day, and I would lose about 8 ounces of sweat every 20 minutes or so. To keep myself hydrated, I would drink gallons of water mixed with powdered vitamin C and electrolytes throughout the day. But during competition, I, as well as many other triathletes, drank a mixture of water and, flat cola, which we mixed beforehand. We did this because the cola contains caffeine to keep you up, and it is easily digested.
    My competition diet was high-carb and healthful, but I've always focused more on when I eat than what I eat. If a race were on Saturday, I would carbo-load from Wednesday on by keeping my meals constant but decreasing my activity level. That means a breakfast of cereal and fruit; lunch consists of pasta or a bagel and vegetables; and dinner contains meat or chicken for protein. The night before a race, I would have a big lunch and a very small dinner, if at all, to keep my bowels fairly empty. The morning of a race, I would only have coffee and cereal at least 1 hours before the start of the race.
    Doug Stern has competed in nearly 40 triathlons, a race consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 18-mile run and 50-mile bike race. He wrote a training column for Triathlete magazine and currently teaches swimming in New York City.
    Paul Bonds
    Rodeo Bullfighter

    As a rodeo clown, my job is to protect the cowboy to distract a raging bull long enough for the cowboy to get away. It's tough and dangerous work, and you have to be in top physical condition. A rodeo cowboy has to last eight seconds on a bull whose mission is to throw him, but I'm out there working for that eight seconds, the next eight seconds, the next eight seconds, one cowboy after another, for the entire night.
    It's hard to maintain a steady healthful diet because I'm on the road continuously from April to October, and I'm forced to eat a lot of fast food. I do try to eat a high-carbohydrate meal before I work to give me the energy I need. I eat a lot of pasta and beans; it helps keep my legs fresh. But no matter where I am or what food is available, I drink plenty of water four 32-ounce cups of water each day. No way you can do this work without keeping yourself hydrated.
    Paul Bonds, a member of the International Professional Rodeo Association, spends half the year touring the U.S. rodeo circuit and the other half at home in Oklahoma City.

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