Step Up to Fuel Up: Sports Nutrition
I recently had the opportunity to partake in a tennis-scouting event. I discovered that some of the athletes were missing critical opportunities to fuel up during their matches and recovery periods. As an athlete, make sure you fuel your body properly with key building blocks, such as a diet rich in carbohydrates. Focusing on specific amounts and essential timing of these nutrients will provide an advantage to your sport's performance.

Fueling up requires you to make sure that you consume sufficient energy throughout the day to maintain your training routines. Fuel, a.k.a. energy, intake comes from carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Keep in mind: Stepping up the amount of carbohydrates in your diet helps you to fuel up the right way. Foods that will fuel your performance include: grains (pastas, rice, cereals, breads, or granola bars), fruits (fresh, frozen, dried or juice), starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, corn, acorn or butternut squash) and dairy foods such as milk and yogurt. Each time you have a meal, fill up your plate with a large serving of carbs. For example, to get a good foundation on your plate you would want to have either rice or pasta (whole grains preferred over white) and starchy vegetables such as beans or yams. Lastly, don't forget to fuel up with your beverage also, such as an ice-cold glass of milk.

Looking for a snack between meals or before practice? To step up your sport performance fuel up with a granola bar, piece of fruit, crackers, yogurt, or ice-cold glass of milk.

Why Sports Nutrition?

Success is determined by what you put into your training routine and how you apply this to your competitions. Adding sports nutrition practices to your training and competition routine will enhance endurance, speed, power and precision. What are your current fueling practices and strategies? Seeking expert advice from a sports dietitian will give you the advantage of getting scientific literature and streamline these findings into easy tips and tools that you can take to enhance your sports performance. Whether it is to improve your training or competition, learning important sports nutrition practices and putting them into your training routine will have a direct impact on your performance.

Athletes: Keep in mind that fueling your body properly with the right amount and type of fuel coupled with essential timing will take your sports performance to the next level. Take the next opportunity to step up your sports performance by focusing on your fueling practices and eating a diet high in carbohydrates. Set up a sports nutrition consultation today with an expert to take the guesswork out of your daily food choices.

Alyson Marquez MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N is a registered and licensed Dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition, providing athletes with customized sports nutrition training programs to get them to the next level. Contact Alyson today at

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