Most Frequently Asked Nutrition Questions (and Answers!)

  • How much protein do I need as an athlete?
    • Yes! Protein is so important for athletes. LEARN MORE HERE for reasons to eat more protein from a dietitian who lifts.
    • Click HERE for the best plant and animal protein bars and powders.
    • High-quality animal proteins are some of the best sources of protein. Click HERE for our recommendations.
    • Which Greek yogurt brands are the best? Here are our top Greek yogurt picks!
  • What should I eat the night before a game?
    • The foods you eat the night before a game can impact your performance positively or negatively. Learn exactly what to eat HERE.
  • How many carbs, calories, and protein should my athlete eat?
    • It depends on the athlete’s age, sport, body composition, goals, and training volume! Learn how much a high school athlete should eat HERE.
  • What should I eat before a game or tournament?
    • Set yourself up for success and learn more about what to eat on a game day HERE.
    • Tips for fueling a tournament HERE.
    • Sports nutrition tips for strength and conditioning coaches HERE!
  • Is creatine safe for my child?
    • Yes, creatine is safe for any child, athlete, adult, or individual at any age playing any sport. Read the full blog HERE.
    • Click HERE and HERE to learn more from Wendi!
  • What should I feed high school athletes?
    • High school athletes need balanced meals with protein, carbs, produce, and healthy fats. For no cook meal and snack ideas, click HERE. Nutrient timing is also important for optimizing performance. Learn more about what and when to eat HERE. With their busy schedules, eating out is bound to happen. Learn how to make healthy eating out choices for your athlete HERE.
  • What are the best breakfast options?
    • Breakfast is an important part of an athlete’s fueling strategy and should never be missed. HERE are some great, quick breakfast ideas for your high school athlete. 
    • Protein is important for athletic performance so try out THESE high-protein waffles! Prep THIS egg bake for the week to set your athlete up for success! On the go and need something quick? Try out THIS protein overnight oats recipe!
    • Nutrients missed at breakfast are not made up later in the day! Click HERE for 3 high-protein breakfast options from Wendi.
  • I always cook the same things. What new recipes should I try?
    • Check out our 30 Days of Recipes! These are easy, quick, nutritious meals that will fuel the whole family.
  • Why is Vitamin D important?
    • Vitamin D is a key nutrient for overall health and performance and is extremely important for athletes. Click HERE to learn why!
    • Vitamin D deficiency is common but can be very problematic, especially for athletes. Read HERE to learn about the risk factors, signs, and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
  • Are eggs healthy?
    • YES! Eggs have so many beneficial nutrients, backed by science. Read why HERE.
  • How can I build a fueling station for high school athletes?
    • Fueling stations are a great way to provide optimal nutrition for athletes around practice times. If you are an athletic director, coach, or strength and conditioning staff member, read HERE about sports nutrition tips for your athletes. 
    • The biggest question is usually what to put in a fueling station. First, start with these pre-practice snacks. Second, focus on between practice/games fuel – this is great for tournaments or when there is a break between practice and lift. Then, focus on these staples for gameday and on-the-road fuel options.
    • These are some practical strategies to incorporate for your youth athletes.
    • Refueling the youth athlete in less than 500 words blog can be a great tool for you as a parent, coach, athlete, or athletic director! -Read it HERE!
  • Is strength training safe for young athletes?
    • YES!! Strength training is so beneficial for youth athletes, for several reasons. Here are some stats on how lack of strength training increases injury risk. Learn more HERE.
  • Wendi, should youth athletes play multiple sports?
    • See the data on why athletes should play multiple sports HERE

See testimonials from parents, coaches, athletes, athletic directors, and families we have served over the last 5 years HERE.

Benefits of working with a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist for your high school or collegiate programs?

  • Strength, power, speed, and endurance enhancement
  • In season nutrition presentations and accountablity
  • Pre & post season nutrition
  • What to eat at meals, snacks, and overall energy intake
  • Nutrition for Injury Recovery or post-surgery from an injury
  • Supplement safety
  • What to eat before and after games or at tournaments
  • Weight loss & weight gain
  • Hydration & anti-inflammation

Have more questions? We have answers!

  • If you are looking for a team talk or presentation fill out our contact form to set up a FREE 15-min call HERE. Check out our performance nutrition partnership HERE.
  • Health and performance guidebook that has over 170 resources including meal plans and tip sheets HERE.
  • Take our FREE health assessment to see if you’re a good fit for our family or student-athlete nutrition coaching programs. Click here

What can hiring a sports nutritionist offer your program? Learn more here.  Interested in signing up for the NEW and upcoming NWW newsletter? Click here to sign up!

The Nutrition with Wendi team utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. We partner with parents, athletes, health professionals, and individuals and offer elite nutrition and health guidance for optimal athletic performance, injury, and disease reduction.  We provide virtual sports nutrition coaching, education, and presentations virtually in Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Arizona, and Michigan. Our primary office is based in Nashville, Tennesse where we serve the greater Brentwood, Franklin, and Green Hills communities.  Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more nutrition information. Services booking here to consult with Wendi for a team talk or QA session.

 

Seed Oils: What does the science say?

Seed Oils: What does the science say? 

Seed oils are an extremely controversial topic! You may have the following questions: 

  • What are seed oils? 
  • What does the science say about inflammation and seed oils? 
  • Are seed oils healthy in moderation?
  • Why do us Registered Dietitians and coaches here at Nutrition with Wendi recommend avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as top oils for our clients and athletes? 

 

All of these questions will be answered below, according to the science for you to review! 

 

Question 1: What are seed oils? 

There are 3 types of seed oils high in omega-3 fatty acids: soybean, corn, flax seed. These oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation and lower triglyceride levels! They also promote vitamin absorption and hormone support. In fact, research has shown a potential reduction in chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. 

There are 3 types of seed oils high in omega-6 fatty acids: corn, safflower, sunflower. Omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and cannot be synthesized in the body. The high omega-6 fatty acid content in these oils promote hormone support and vitamin absorption. Research has illustrated a potential for reducing chronic diseases! 

There are 3 types of oils high in monounsaturated fats and omega-9 fatty acids: olive, avocado, sunflower. The high omega-9 fatty acid content of these oils helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, decrease inflammation, and improve blood sugar control! 

 

Question 2: What does the science say about inflammation and seed oils? 

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are in competition for the same enzymes. As a result, inflammation can occur. Research has shown the appropriate ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids to be ~4:1 or less. Typical Western diets have ratios exceeding 15:1 due to high intakes of animal fats and corn oil, which is rich in the omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid (Wall et al., 2010). To improve this ratio, replace corn, safflower, and soybean (seed oils) with healthier oils, such as avocado oil and EVOO!

 

Question 3: Are seed oils healthy in moderation?

Yes! All foods fit. Research shows clear benefits from seed oils. As with anything, moderation is key. Include them in your diet to help fight inflammation, keep triglyceride and LDL levels at bay, and promote heart health! 

 

Question 4: Why do we recommend avocado oil and EVOO to our athletes? 

Athletes who engage in strenuous exercise, defined as at least 1.5 hours of moderate- to high-intensity exercise have an increased risk for inflammation. This is in part due to an increase in the body’s anti-inflammatory compounds. Therefore, it is key to incorporate healthy fats to reduce exercise-induced inflammation. Many athletes benefit from increasing their omega-3 intake or altering their omega-3 and omega-6 ratios! 

 

Keep in mind that nutrition is never black and white. We do recommend butter, ghee, and coconut oil in moderation, along with plenty of animal fats too! All foods fit, but be mindful of your personal goals, needs, and health history! Read more HERE!

 

Reference these studies for more information: 

PMID 34608514, PMID 15774905, PMID 28526025, PMID 20351774, PMID 27434027, PMID 26615402, PMID 27434027

 

How can we work together?

  • If you are looking for a team talk or presentation fill out our contact form to set up a FREE 15-min call HERE. Check out our performance nutrition partnership HERE.
  • Health and performance guidebook that has over 170 resources including meal plans and tip sheets HERE.
  • Take our FREE health assessment to see if you’re a good fit for our family or student-athlete nutrition coaching programs. Click here
  • Details are available HERE.

 

What can hiring a sports nutritionist offer your program? Learn more here.  Interested in signing up for the NEW and upcoming NWW newsletter? Click here to sign up!

The Nutrition with Wendi team utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. We partner with parents, athletes, health professionals, and individuals and offer elite nutrition and health guidance for optimal athletic performance, injury, and disease reduction.  We provide virtual sports nutrition coaching, education, and presentations virtually in Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Arizona, and Michigan. Our primary office is based in Nashville, Tennesse where we serve the greater Brentwood, Franklin, and Green Hills communities.  Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more nutrition information. Services booking here to consult with Wendi for a team talk or QA session.

 

Fueling Victory: 5 Tips for Athletes and Families Meal Prepping on a Budget

For athletes, proper nutrition is the cornerstone of peak performance. Whether you’re a student athlete, seasoned competitor, or a weekend warrior, meal prepping can be a game-changer when it comes to meeting your nutritional needs. Here are five key tips to help athletes streamline their meal prepping process, allowing them to stay on top of their game without breaking the bank.

Need recipe ideas to meal prep? Check out our 30 Days of Recipes!

Plan 3-4 Days Ahead

Successful meal prepping begins with thoughtful planning. Athletes, in particular, benefit from having a well-balanced diet that meets their energy requirements. Planning your meals three to four days ahead provides a strategic advantage by allowing you to consider your training schedule, daily activities, and nutritional needs.

Start by outlining your training sessions, competitions, and any other engagements that might impact your meals. Once you have a clear picture of your week, plan meals that align with your energy expenditure. Include a mix of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure a well-rounded diet.

 

Take Stock

Before heading to the grocery store, take stock of your fridge and pantry. This not only prevents overbuying but also helps you make the most of what you already have. Check for staples like rice, quinoa, beans, and canned tomatoes that can serve as a base for many meals.

Additionally, assess your protein sources. Eggs, chicken, tofu, and beans are cost-effective and versatile options. Look for sales or bulk discounts on frozen vegetables, which are just as nutritious as fresh and have a longer shelf life. By minimizing waste and maximizing the use of existing ingredients, you’ll save money while ensuring your meals are packed with essential nutrients.

 

Know Your Schedule

Athletes often have demanding schedules, making it crucial to sync meal prepping with your daily routine. Knowing your schedule allows you to allocate specific times for prepping, cooking, and storing meals efficiently.

Identify time slots for meals around your training sessions, ensuring you have adequate fuel before and replenishment after. Allocate moments in your day for quick, nutrient-packed snacks to maintain energy levels. By tailoring your meal prep to your unique schedule, you can optimize nutrition to complement your athletic performance. This synchronization not only enhances your energy levels but also promotes overall well-being and resilience.

 

Cook in Bulk

One of the most effective ways to save time and money is to cook in bulk. Batch cooking allows you to prepare large quantities of your favorite meals, providing a stash of ready-to-eat options for the days ahead. This strategy is especially beneficial for athletes, as it minimizes the time spent in the kitchen during busy training periods.

Opt for recipes that can be easily scaled up, such as chili, stir-fries, or casseroles. These dishes often improve in flavor when reheated, making them ideal for bulk cooking. Divide the prepared meals into individual portions and freeze what you won’t consume within the next few days. This not only ensures a constant supply of varied meals but also prevents food waste.

 

Include Daily Staples

Incorporating daily staples into your meal prep routine is key to maintaining a balanced diet on a budget. Items like oats, yogurt, eggs, and whole grains are not only affordable but also versatile and nutrient-dense. They serve as the foundation for a variety of meals, from breakfast to post-training snacks.

For a budget-friendly breakfast, consider overnight oats made with rolled oats, yogurt, and your choice of fruits. Eggs can be prepared in numerous ways and are an excellent source of high-quality protein. Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa can be paired with a mix of vegetables and proteins for a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner. By incorporating these staples, you’ll ensure that your meals are both cost-effective and nutritionally robust.

 

Meal prepping for athletes doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and it certainly doesn’t have to break the bank. By following these five essential tips—planning ahead, taking stock of your pantry, syncing with your schedule, cooking in bulk, and incorporating daily staples—you can streamline your meal prep process and fuel your athletic endeavors with nutritious, budget-friendly options. Remember, success in the kitchen translates to success on the field, and a well-fueled body is your best ally in achieving peak performance.

To learn more about meal prepping for athletes, watch Wendi’s Healthy Meal Prep on a Budget Webinar and access the slides HERE!

 

In good health, wellness, and performance,

Sophia, Brenna, and Wendi your NWW team!

 

The Nutrition with Wendi team utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. We partner with parents, athletes, health professionals, and individuals and offer elite nutrition and health guidance for optimal athletic performance, injury, and disease reduction.  We provide virtual services including telehealth but are based in Nashville, TN. Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more nutrition information. Services booking here to consult with Wendi for a team talk or QA session.

Plant based meat versus beef patty. What you need to know!

Plant-based meat?

Plant meat alternatives are being promoted more and more each day. I am often asked by consumers, those online, and our community if plant patties are “healthier”.

 

 

In short, NO. This is not my opinion this is what researchers who assessed cooked samples of both plant and beef patties found in their analysis. The nutrition facts label also does not illustrate the key nutrient differences. The plant and beef patties differ in terms of salt, cholesterol, calories, protein content, carbohydrate, texture, moisture content, flavor, and price!

  • Researchers cooked samples and analyzed the samples suggesting a more clear and thorough breakdown. The researchers assess nutrients and categorized the amino acids making up the proteins and various metabolites found within both the plant patty and beef patty samples.

 

 

 

*I recently was at the ISSN conference and was motivated to do this blog. Check the data that was exclusively shared from a presentation on plant-based meats!


What did they find?

According to the metabolomics comparison, there’s a large nutritional difference!

  • This heat map illustrates just how different the impossible meat and beef patties are at the metabolite level.
  • Of the 171 out of 190 annotated metabolites (90%) were different between beef and the plant-based alternative.

 

 

 

  • Beef has creatinine, hydroxyproline, and glucosamine, (marked with the red arrows), none of which are found in the plant-based alternative.
  • Bioavailability MATTERS. Just because a component is found in food doesn’t mean that it is digested and or available to us.

 

  • Iron in meat is far more available than the usual iron supplement. Equivalent amounts of iron on the nutritional label do not necessarily translate into equal amounts of iron in you.

 


Plant versus Beef?

The ingredients in a plant patty?

  • Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% Or Less Of: Methylcellulose, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Yeast Extract, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), L-Tryptophan, Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamins and Minerals (Zinc Gluconate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12). Product contains an allium derivative
  • Price per 8 oz serving = $6.97

 

The ingredients in a beef patty?

  • Beef

  • Price per 8 oz serving = $3.62

 

*Best foods to gain strength and lose fat! Click here


Conclusion?

  • Researchers conclude that plant-based meat alternatives are not interchangeable with meat; they complement one another.
  • Beef is superior to plant “meat”
  • Beef contains > more bioavailable protein, iron, zinc, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, pantothenate, magnesium, and potassium than plant “burgers”.
  • Beef is a lower cost per serving and offers more nutrients that are bioavailable.
  • The NUTRITION LABEL DOES NOT TELL ALL!! 
  • In case you missed my post on plant-based alternative “milk” click here to learn more!
  • Plant and animal protein bar list
  • Here’s a FREE grocery list to get you and your family started with healthy choices!

 

 

 

DOWNLOAD THE BEYOND MEAT COMPARISON HERE.

In good faith, health, and athletic performance,

Wendi A. Irlbeck, MS, RDN, LD , CISSN

Wendi is a registered dietitian nutritionist and performance coach. Wendi utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. She partners with high schools, colleges, sports performance staff, individuals, and families! Wendi and her team offer custom fueling plans, group coaching, presentations, and team talks nationwide!

Wendi provides virtual services including telehealth but is based in Nashville, TN.  Wendi works with clients of all levels internationally.

What can hire a sports nutritionist offer your program? Learn more here.  Interested in signing up for the NEW and upcoming NWW newsletter? Click here to sign up!


Citations and resources to learn more:

Source: A metabolomics comparison of plant‑based meat and grass‑fed meat indicates large nutritional differences despite comparable Nutrition Facts panels Nature Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-93100-3

Healthy Family Summer Recipe’s

Summer is HERE!!  You can find tasty ways to enjoy a healthy dish or simple recipe on the go or with friends or on your way to a tournament!!

 

Check out our Healthy Family Summer Recipes below!

  • Chipotle Bowls for easy meal prep and a way to eat the “Rainbow”.
  • Headed to a party? The Texas Caviar is a tasty dip that is FIBER rich and bright in color.
  • For a lighter meal, our Zucchini Boats incorporate a little coconut for a Fresh summer taste. Hanging with the girls for a pool day?
  • Try our Grapefruit Paloma Mocktail!  Last, but does not lack in taste, the Protein Mango Sorbet!  Make this one Fresh or make it in bulk and freeze it in containers as a grab-and-go Tasty  Treat!

 

 

Download your FREE ebook below.

Healthy Family Summer Recipe’s

 


All foods fit but be mindful of your choices! Healthy food = a healthy body!

To book a discovery call with an NWW Coach to discuss your goals click the Booking Link Here!

 

Nutrition Tips for Student-Athletes with ADHD

Do you, your child, or someone you know struggle with ADHD? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopment disorder involving inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness

How does ADHD impact nutrition?

The impulsivity and inattention related to ADHD can increase the prevalence of binging or overeating. It can increase difficulty in planning meals, remembering to eat, appetite changes, impulse food decisions, and more.

How does Nutrition Impact ADHD?

  • Although ADHD is not considered curable there are some nutritional things you can do to help manage it. While the effect of food on ADHD symptoms is inconclusive – diet can help improve mood and behavior. 
  • ADHD Medication is a stimulant that can reduce your appetite. On the flip side, with one of the medications, you may find yourself extremely hungry and craving foods high in sugar and fat. How to navigate this? 
  • Plan meals ahead of time and Pack Protein + Carbs
    • Eggs + Cuties
    • Cheese Stick + Grapes
    • Yogurt + Berries
    • Hummus + Carrots
  • Eat small frequent meals while appetite is low.
    • Smoothies
    • Whole-Fat Dairy 
  • Work with an NWW Nutrition Coach to build habits
  • Eat with the intent to regulate blood sugars 
    • Low and High Blood sugars can increase difficulty concentrating, Dizziness, irritable, and food cravings.
    • Work With a NWW Coach to know What, When, and How much to eat to feel best! (Student-athlete coaching)

Nutrition Interactions 

  • If you are on medications, it is super important to work with your Doctor, Dietitian, or Med Provider to see review these concerns.
  • Foods that contain large amounts of citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) may prevent the absorption of certain ADHD Medications. 

ADHD and Eating Disorder Prevalence: 

  • Research from Biederman, J., et al. (2010), indicates that adolescent females with ADHD are 3.6 times more likely to develop an ED and 5.6 times more likely to develop bulimia nervosa.
  • One Sample from Mattos, P. et al (2004), found that 10.4% of participants with ADHD experienced an ED, most commonly binge eating disorder [3]

WHY? 

“One theory is that there is a neurological basis for both ADHD and binge/pure EDs. Researchers believe that individuals with either/both disorders have a “lack of dopamine-based natural reward,” leading to impulsive behaviors such as hyperactivity and/or binge eating “[1].

How to raise dopamine?

  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Healthy Diet
  • Limit highly processed foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get some Sunshine
  • Sleep 8-9 hours
  • Fun activities
  • Meditate or practice yoga

 


Have more questions? We have answers!

  • If you are looking for a team talk or presentation fill out our contact form to set up a FREE 15-min call HERE. Check out our performance nutrition partnership HERE.
  • Health and performance guidebook that has over 170 resources including meal plans and tip sheets HERE.
  • Take our FREE health assessment to see if you’re a good fit for our family or student-athlete nutrition coaching programs. Click here

What can hiring a sports nutritionist offer your program? Learn more here.  Interested in signing up for the NEW and upcoming NWW newsletter? Click here to sign up!

The Nutrition with Wendi team utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. We partner with parents, athletes, health professionals, and individuals and offer elite nutrition and health guidance for optimal athletic performance, injury, and disease reduction.  We provide virtual sports nutrition coaching, education, and presentations virtually in Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Arizona, and Michigan. Our primary office is based in Nashville, Tennesse where we serve the greater Brentwood, Franklin, and Green Hills communities.  Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more nutrition information. Services booking here to consult with Wendi for a team talk or QA session.

 

 

_________________________________________________

[1] Bleck, J et al. (2015). Underlying mechanisms and trajectory of comorbid ADHD and eating disorders: proposing an innovative systems framework for informing research. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 14: 449-458.

[2] Biederman, J., et al. (2010). Adult psychiatric outcomes of girls with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: 11-year follow-up in a longitudinal case-control study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 409-417.

[3] Mattos, P. et al (2004). Comorbid eating disorders in a brazilian attention deficit/hyperactivity adult clinical sample. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, 248-250.

 

 

Fueling the XC/Track and Field Student Athlete

 

Track & Field athletes compete in one or more events that consist of running, throwing, and jumping. Track and field competitors train for strength, speed, power, and endurance and require adequate nutrition and hydration to support the demands of the sport. In order to excel in the season of season nutrition, sleep, recovery, and overall habits are critical.

Track & field/ XC athletes require a high amount of calories, carbohydrates, and sufficient protein. The number of calories, carbs, protein, and fat will depend on the phase of training, along with the intensity, and whether the athlete is in season, pre-season, or in the off-season. The athlete’s performance plate is a simple place to start. Portions will vary based on the athlete’s goals and training phase respectively.

Carbohydrate requirements in the health and fitness industry are constantly being debated. Randomized control trial studies which are the gold standard for research support the notion endurance athletes require carbohydrates for optimal performance.

Regardless, the carb conundrum continues on leading to significant confusion amongst both young, college, and even masters athletes. I can’t tell you how many countless conversations I have had with fellow dietitians, practitioners, and sports scientists about this carbohydrate debacle. 

 

Several keto and carnivore physicians are making the water even more muddled with their banter on carb needs for competitive athletes and even young athletes without respect to context. I have written many blogs about fueling young athletes based on the position stand papers of both the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). Read here

 

 

 


  • The TheAcademy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Dietitians of Canada (DC), and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published a joint position stand paper that recommends that moderate exercise (1 h/day (h/day) recommends 5–7 g per kilogram of body weight per day (g/kg/day) of CHO.
  • Whereas moderate to high-intensity exercise (1–3 h/day) requires 6–10 g/kg/day. 
  • Ultra-endurance athletes with extreme levels of commitment to daily activity (4–5 h of moderate to high-intensity exercise every day) may need up to 8–12 g/kg/day (2). 
  • The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recommends in order to maximize glycogen stores athletes should consume an 8–12 g/kg/day high CHO diet (1).

 


Over the years I have delivered presentations to high schools, clubs, and collegiate programs on how to properly eat and fuel for endurance and power.

Below is a table outlining the recommendations using common body weight for an athlete that we have received great feedback on Specifically from one of the NWW  partners, DOANE University Track and Field.

Why focus on nutrient quality?

👟Protein for muscle maintenance, growth & repair

👟Hydration and minerals for muscle contraction & cardiac function

👟Carbs + calories for power, speed, strength & endurance


Another common example of a 165 lb.👟 that is best to spread meals and snacks throughout the day but focus on eating within targets listed below:

👉375-525g carbs

👉120-150g protein

👉60-80g fat

Total kcal range: 2,500-3,500 kcal

 

 


Nutrient quality and why it matters

When deciding how to eat and fuel you must focus on nutrient quality. You should strive to balance as many high-quality protein sources as eggs, beef, chicken, fish, Greek yogurt, and beans to ensure you’re getting key nutrients you won’t attain from protein supplements. Many athletes often use protein powders and bars in place of real food and fail to understand that quality is more important than quantity. (click here for snack and meal ideas)

  • For example, Greek yogurt is going to offer you high-quality protein rich in leucine (the number one driver for muscle protein synthesis) along with other key nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and probiotics you won’t get from a protein powder or bar. (food first supplement second should always be your focus. 
  • Supplements are meant to supplement the gaps in our nutrition not replace actual meals. If you expect supplements to be a “meal” you are literally rearranging furniture on a sinking ship. -A quote I enjoy using for many topics like discussing pre-workouts and advocating for quality food choices.

Practical application:

That being said you can take a look at a simple fueling example for XC/TF athletes along with some recommendations on snacks. 

 

In good health, faith, and fitness

-Wendi A. Irlbeck, MS, RDN, LD, CISSN

The Nutrition with Wendi team utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. We partner with parents, athletes, health professionals, and individuals and offer elite nutrition and health guidance for optimal athletic performance, injury, and disease reduction.  We provide virtual services including telehealth but are based in Nashville, TN. Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more nutrition information. Services booking here

 

 

 

Resources
1. Thomas D.T., Erdman K.A., Burke L.M. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. J. Acad. Nutr. Diet. 2016;116:501–528. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.12.006.
2 Vitale, K., & Getzin, A. (2019). Nutrition and Supplement Update for the Endurance Athlete: Review and Recommendations. Nutrients, 11(6), 1289. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061289
3.Kloby Nielsen, L. L., Tandrup Lambert, M. N., & Jeppesen, P. B. (2020). The Effect of Ingesting Carbohydrate and Proteins on Athletic Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 12(5), 1483. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051483

Weekly Weight Room Tip Tuesday with Wendi

As busy as we have gotten it is time for me to ramp up my videos on youtube and share out some of these actionable tips I provide on Twitter. I will be providing a Tip Tuesday for you to share in your weight room with athletes, in email blasts, at your school, in your athletic department, or anywhere you see fit.

August 2nd *the very first weight room tip Tuesday with Wendi* is now LIVE and available for you to share out.


You can download and share the 90-second clip found on my youtube page and Instagram. The recommended pre-workout graphics are listed below and also found in blogs and on my IG page.


I was praying about how to reach more programs that may struggle with nutrition resources. After some prayer I felt convicted to offer complimentary videos with tips is a great way to help and reach more people. (thank you Jesus and I give all glory to you). 

  • If your program does want to invest in a pre-recorded or LIVE team talk we have actually been creating partnerships with various HS and college programs like hockey, football, and soccer programs.
  • We work with others but these are our major partners. We kick off the partnership with various presentations that include but are not limited to nutrition 101, supplements, weight management, and injury prevention.
  • In addition, follow-up video chats to keep your athletes on track with eating, fueling, recovery, and sleep hygiene.

 

Nutrition is one of the best and most important resources you will make. We are willing and available to help your program take your performance to the next level! Contact us for more information by clicking here.

In good health and performance,

 

Coach Wendi

 

Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, LD, CISSN  utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. She partners with parents, sports performance staff, and special needs and recreational athletes to offer nutritional guidance and optimal athletic performance and lifestyle plans. Learn more about our programs here.

What to Eat the Night Before a Game?

What should I eat the night before a game?

Great question! We get this question from athletes all the time or from parents or coaches concerned about educating their athletes. What to eat the night before any competition or event depends on many factors. 

 

It’s actually more important to be cognizant of what you’re eating and drinking in the days leading up to your game or competition. (Learn more here)

 

 

 

 

 


 

Avoid making common mistakes on intense training days or competition days.

  • Fried foods
  • Spicy foods
  • New foods
  • High-fat foods
  • Consuming high-fat or high-fiber right before activity

 


My five tips to keep in mind when thinking about the night before game day

1. What you eat the night before any competition should be practiced in advance. I can’t stress this enough.

If you try new foods you could end up getting sick with stomach pain, cramping, or digestion issues. Also, the meal could negatively affect your sleep and ultimately end up disrupting your performance the next day.

Our clients and athletes learn through our coaching sessions that the meals and snacks consumed leading up to the event have a greater influence on performance than the meal consumed the night before.

2. Limit oils, too much fiber, and high-fat cuts of meat that take a great deal of time to digest and can prevent you from properly fueling up with carbs.

Too much fiber can also cause GI distress. Your goal is to fill up your glycogen stores (the storage form of carbohydrates).

3. Avoid consuming fried foods, heavily processed foods, dressings, sauces, and spicy foods.

Fuel up with a high-quality lean protein source paired with some fruit, complex carbohydrates, and veggies. You want to have a balanced plate ultimately containing foods from all food groups. (Full day of eating) *Example menu2


Meals to consume the night before game day

  • Grilled chicken sandwich on a whole-grain bun with veggies, 1-2 cups whole-grain rice, mixed berries fruit cup, and low-fat chocolate milk
  • Lean ground turkey meatballs, whole-grain pasta, watermelon slices, 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt + pineapple slices
  • Deli ham or deli turkey sub with a side of pretzels, apple slices, and low-fat chocolate milk
  • Whole-grain burrito or burrito bowl with lean flank steak, brown rice, grilled veggies, and a small serving of guacamole (keep fat light)
  • For plant-based athletes, grilled tofu, chickpeas, brown rice, tomatoes, mixed greens, a side of grapes, and a light dressing paired with 1-2 whole-grain rolls
  • 93% lean ground beef burgers on whole-grain bread or in pita wrap paired with a side salad, raspberries, and low-fat milk
  • Whole-grain rice bowl with grilled shrimp or lean flank steak tossed in roasted broccoli with diced avocado (keep it light 1 tbsp) and fresh fruit
  • Roasted sweet potato with lean ground turkey or tofu in a whole grain wrap with hummus and blueberries
  • 1-2 whole-grain chicken wraps with beans, spinach, tomato, mashed hummus, and fruit

4. Have a small snack of protein + carb 45-60 min before bed  (see more ideas here ) **Be sure to also test out these foods ahead of time to ensure you know they won’t make you sick.

Image5. Get a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep! (consequences of poor sleep & athletic performance 

  • Consume a casein-rich snack like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or string cheese paired with an apple or banana.
  • Casein (slow-digesting dairy protein) will help repair and rebuild muscle while at rest.
  • A small serving of carbohydrates will top off the fuel tank roughly 45-60 min before bed.
  • Cherries and bananas have also been shown to support restful sleep. Cherries are a natural source of melatonin which helps you fall asleep.
  • Bananas are a great source of magnesium which is a mineral aiding in muscle relaxation. The perfect combo to help your muscles relax, recover, and for you to sleep well before your big game or competition!

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NO NEW FOODS THE NIGHT BEFORE A GAME OR ON GAME DAY! I can’t stress this enough!

  • Practice foods and meals you want to eat the night before a game at least a week in advance to know “it works and feels good for you.”
  • Focus on getting 7-9 hours of sleep and have a small protein + carb snack before bed.
  • You can’t expect to perform at your best if you have not been consistently consuming balanced meals and snacks leading into game day.
  • You’ll have to plan ahead with balanced meals using my plate method. For additional ideas, check out my meal and snack guidance which also explains my “4-2-1” method.
  • In the days leading up to your competition, prioritize plenty of lean protein and complex carbohydrates to provide you with the fuel you need.
  • You can’t perform like a beast if you eat like a bird (additional snack ideas)!

Performance Nutrition (1) (download for the 4-2-1 game day timing)

GOOD LUCK and don’t forget to have fun!


What are the benefits of partnering with Nutrition with Wendi to help you with your performance or recovery?Image

“Wendi has helped me feel better going into games and camps and has assisted with my weight gain goal. I have gained a solid 10 lbs since we started working together, and I have more energy during practice and training. My muscles aren’t as sore after games either.”

 

 

 


The Nutrition with Wendi team utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. We partner with parents, sports performance staff, and special needs and recreational athletes to offer nutritional guidance and optimal athletic performance and lifestyle plans. We provide virtual services including telehealth but are based in Nashville, TN. Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more nutrition information. Service

7 Hydration Tips for Young Athletes and Active Adults

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Water is the MOST important FREE health significantly underrated performance enhancer yet most people walk around dehydrated.

According to the USDA, over half the US adults fail to consume their recommended minimum of 6-8 glasses of water each day.

I shared simple hydration tips on Fox17 Nashville. Click to watch the video here!

Failing to consume enough water can also increase your risk of heart failure. It is important to stay hydrated for basic philological functions supporting blood circulation, lubricating joints and tissues, digestion, metabolism, and muscle contraction to name a few.

Many people need more than 6-8 glasses of water due to higher body weight, activity, sweat rate, and also supporting a healthy metabolism. We recommend our clients and athletes consume a minimum of 80-100 oz of water per day. We advise checking urine color to help guide you in your water intake. If you struggle to drink enough water you have come to the right place! Our tips will help you increase your water with ease!

 

Symptoms of dehydration:


🚽Your urine helps determine your hydration status. 𝐃𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐤 10-20 𝐨𝐳 𝐮𝐩𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠

💦Most athletes need between 90-120 oz. of fluid per day in addition to sufficient minerals lost through sweat

❌Intense training + under fueling = ⬆️risk of injury, depression, poor performance & muscle loss

❌1-2% loss of BW can result in dehydration post-training = severe health consequences

 

Follow Wendi on Twitter for more graphics and tips! Check out how fruit slices can help you stay hydrated HERE!

 

7 HYDRATION TIPS YOU CAN APPLY NOW!

1. Wake up and drink water by placing a glass of water or a water bottle by your bed.  This strategy will enable you to have zero barriers to getting your hydration started for the day! Focus on consuming 10-16 oz upon waking. Especially if you are an athlete or working outdoors.

2. Set alarms on your phone to hydrate with 16 oz every few hours to shoot for a total goal of 100-120 oz per day (especially if you are an athlete or working outdoors). Another easy way to get in more water is to say 50 oz by 1 pm and another 50 oz by 7 pm!
3. Carry a water bottle or hydro flask that you can easily set water goals. I.e. 32 oz is a typical hydro flask that you can consume 3x/day.
4. Eat your hydration. Yes, that is right we can attain fluid and minerals from our fruit and veggies! Watermelon, grapes, berries, cucumbers, celery, carrots, cherries, and tomatoes are also super hydrating and a great way to get in your veggies for health too! You can also infuse your water with berries, lemon, lime, etc. which makes it tastier and offers antioxidants.
5. Electrolytes can be used to replace minerals lost in sweat. Dairy is also hydrating you could add Greek yogurt, milk, or cheese to meals to get in additional minerals. Cherry juice, chocolate milk, or Gatorade zero can also be a good option depending on your goals for added hydration.
6. Bring a cooler with you to stock with fruits and veggies. You can also pack additional water bottles to make sure you have enough fluid on hand in case of an emergency!
7. Hydrate with milk at meals and water in between! These tips help my clients and athletes stay hydrated! It is also important to consume 16-24 oz of fluid for every pound lost!

 

Stay hydrated out there and don’t forget to follow us on social media for more tips!

 

Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, LD, CISSN

Wendi Irlbeck is a registered dietitian nutritionist, and performance coach. Wendi utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. We partner with college and high school sports programs offering custom nutrition presentations, education, and 1/1/group nutrition coaching.  Wendi is a former cross-country runner, college softball player, figure competitor, and avid weight-lifter who still enjoys a good race from time to time. We provide onsite and virtual services nationwide!

 

You can also follow Wendi on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more nutrition information. Service