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Eating healthy? Be careful of some of these options

Salad bar at IMG Academy

By Steve Smith, Head of Nutrition, Athletic & Personal Development program

Many people have caught on to the key “health foods” that can increase performance and pack a great punch into a small package. While it may be great to take advantage of performance enhancing products, does the mentality of “if some is good, more is better” get people into trouble? Consider the positives and negatives of the following "healthy" items:

Avocado

Positives: Good source of mono and polyunsaturated fats, as well as fiber, potassium, vitamin E and many others. 1/5 (2-3 thin slices) of an avocado is a great size to use as a part of a meal or snack.

Negatives: Although the source of mono and polyunsaturated fats is favorable, do we eat too much? Many people over eat these very nutrient-rich foods thinking they're giving themselves a boost in performance. Adding too much along with a normal diet can lead to an eventual excess of calories.

Nuts

Positives: Some, such as almonds, contain a good source of mono and polyunsaturated fats as well as vitamin E, Niacin, Calcium and others. Nuts make a great snack and are very portable. If used properly (1 oz portion= 23 almonds or 14 walnut halves), it can be a very beneficial part of a balanced diet whether in a meal, snack, or even as a part of a recovery smoothie.

Negatives: Where people get into trouble is having an entire tray or can that we pick at throughout the day, leading to an excess in total fat along with our meals.

Juices

Positives: Antioxidant properties help with overall health and relieving added stress put upon the body with training. Choose your juice wisely and stay with 100% juice when possible. Be aware of how much you drink and stay hydrated. One tip is to drink twice the amount of water as juice in a sitting (4oz juice - 8oz water) to be sure you stay on top of your fluid intake.

Negatives: Too much juice, what I like to call “juice abuse”, can significantly change the end-result of a performance. When used in excess the typical spike and crash can occur.

Remember, keep it simple. Small changes are the basics of what the Combine360 platform is built upon. Optimizing performance with every opportunity you have to prepare, train and eat will help you reach your goals whether you are an elite athlete, weekend warrior and novice simply looking to live a healthier lifestyle.

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