Demystifying Sports Nutrition

A diet that is laden with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables will slow the aging process and its effects on performance. Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor.com

Exercising Portion Control

“I don’t think consumer education has been working; the average American consumer hasn’t been choosing to eat less,” Brown says. “We want the most food for the least amount of money.” She believes we’ve all been conditioned by out-of-control portion sizes to eat more than we might need. Brown cautions athletes to be mindful of what they’re eating out of—a bowl of cereal generally contains three to four servings and a modern dinner plate can hold six to seven servings of pasta.

Eat off a salad plate that is no larger than 10 inches in diameter, tune into your hunger cues and be realistic about how your activity level translates into how much you need to eat, Brown suggests. For example, if you went for a four-mile run in the evening, refuel with a small plate of pasta mixed with vegetables and protein and stop there. It takes 20 minutes to realize that you’re full, Brown says, and you can do a lot of damage in that time frame.

According to Austin, a healthful plate should resemble this: half fruits and vegetables, one third whole grains, one third protein.

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