How Well Do You Know Nutrition?
1) TRUE OR FALSE All of an athlete’s grains should be whole grain and high fiber.
✫ Answer: False Whole grains should definitely be a staple of anyone’s diet since they are full of nutrients and filling fiber. However, there are times when high-fiber foods aren’t in an athlete’s best interest. For example, elite competitors training multiple times per day need to recover muscle glycogen stores ASAP. This storage form of carbs can be replenished faster by simple carb sources like a plain bagel. High-fiber grains are fine for 24-hour recovery between sessions, but simple carbs are the better choice if another workout is just a few hours away.
2) THE OPTIMAL NUTRIENT TO FOCUS ON BEFORE INTENSE CARDIO TRAINING IS: a) Protein b) Fat c) Carbohydrates
✫ Answer: C For tough cardio sessions, carbohydrates are the ideal pre-workout nutrient. Snacking on a granola bar or a piece of fruit beforehand prepares blood sugar levels so that the body can spare precious muscle glycogen. This means you can work out harder and longer before feeling fatigued.
3) WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING IS THE BEST SNACK TO HAVE AFTER RESISTANCE TRAINING? a) Oatmeal with ground flaxseed b) Whey protein smoothie with fresh or frozen fruit c) Spinach salad with tomatoes, avocado and cucumber slices in a vinaigrette
✫ Answer: B While all of these are indeed healthy snack options, a highprotein snack with moderate carbs like a whey smoothie is exactly what an athlete needs. The carbs signal the hormone insulin to use the complete protein from the whey to drive muscle recovery and growth.
4) OF THESE OPTIONS THESE OPTIONS, WHAT IS THE BEST SOURCE OF ESSENTIAL OMEGA-3 FATS? a) Flaxseed b) Walnuts c) Salmon
✫ Answer: C Plant-based sources of Omega-3 fats are great, but the type of heart-healthy fat from fish like salmon, sardines and anchovies is more potent!
5) WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING CAN GIVE YOUR METABOLISM A BOOST? a) Eating at least 1,000 calories/day b) Eating every four hours c) Eating protein with every meal d) All of the above
✫ Answer: D Going too low on calorie intake forces the body’s metabolism to slow down since it slips into “starvation” mode. Maintaining a steady meal/snack schedule that involves no more than about four hours between eating helps keep metabolism active for efficient calorie burning. Incorporating portions of protein throughout the day and not just in one sitting produces what is known as a “thermic effect” that keeps the metabolic rate going strong.
6) TRUE OR FALSE Brown and white rice have the same number of calories.
✫ Answer: True Choosing brown rice over white rice is a healthier option because of the nutrient content, not because of a calorie difference. Brown rice has more vitamins, minerals and fiber than white rice. Picking brown rice as a side dish will help control blood sugar spikes to curb your appetite. Be conscious of portion sizes though— just 1 cup of rice packs 300 calories.
7) WHICH OF THESE CONTAIN HEART-HEALTHY UNSATURATED FAT? a) Reduced fat cottage cheese b) Coconut c) Avocado
✫ Answer: C That creamy, rich texture of avocadoes is actually good for you! Just remember that ½ cup of pureed avocado is about 180 calories. To enjoy the flavor without all the calories, I recommend mixing a couple tablespoons of avocado with a little non-fat Greek style yogurt or a lowcalorie hummus.
8) WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD MEN TRY TO AVOID? a) Vitamin C b) Magnesium c) Calcium
✫ Answer: C While calcium supplements are a smart choice for women, men should avoid supplemental forms of calcium unless a physician specifically recommends it. Calcium-rich foods are absolutely essential to bone health, but high-dose supplements may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
9) TRUE OR FALSE Athletes should give up all red meat to promote a healthier lifestyle.
✫ Answer: False For all the steak lovers out there, you can still enjoy this indulgence if you make the right choices about how you enjoy meat. Try to limit your red meat intake to once or twice a week, and go for small portions of lean meat like sirloin. I also recommend trying game meats like venison, ostrich and bison that are naturally much leaner than conventional beef, and generally don’t have any added hormones.
10) WHAT’S THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF WATER WEIGHT THAT CAN BE LOST DURING A WORKOUT THAT WON’T IMPACT PERFORMANCE? a) 2% b) 4% c) 8%
✫ Answer: A Maintaining adequate hydration is key to pushing athletic performance to the brink. Losing more than 2 percent of body weight as sweat can significantly detract from your workout. Water is fine to hydrate for short sessions lasting less than one hour, but a sport beverage is necessary for lengthy bouts in the gym. Weigh yourself before and after a workout— if your weight remains stable then you hydrated well.