Articles               Formulas and Calculators               Educational References

In September of 2012 the managers of Valentine Hall launched an online nutrition program specific to the foods and meals that are served at the dining hall.  I highly recommend you visit this site at the link below if you are interested in streamlining your nutrition for optimum performance.

6 Main Nutrition Principles
I) Water
  • 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated
  • In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger
  • Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%
  • One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study
  • Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue
  • Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers
  • Body weight should be within 1kg (2.2lbs) when you compare pre/post
  • 1 fluid oz equals 1 oz of mass, you should consume 16 fl oz of water/sports drink for every pound lost during exercise

THE BOTTOM LINE: You should be drinking about a gallon (128 oz) of water each day. I recommend that you keep a water bottle with you and continuously drink water all day. If you wait until you are thirsty it is too late--you are already dehydrated. Try to avoid soda and coffee--these liquids are full of “empty calories” and caffeine (caffeine will cause you to become dehydrated). Also, try to have juices and sports drinks in moderation--these beverages will add a lot of extra calories to your diet. The best time to have these beverages is after practice/competition/training.

II) Meals

You should eat 3 major meals per day with 1 snack between each meal for a total of 6 feedings per day. Do not overeat at meals. Stop eating before you are full and take some of that meal as a snack to keep your metabolism running in high gear.

1) Breakfast - Breakfast is essential for providing energy throughout the day and should the beginning of hydrating your body. Try to: avoid cereals with a lot of sugar, eat a high quality protein source, drink plenty of fluids, have some fruit, and avoid eating an overabundance of complex carbohydrates and fat.

2) Mid-Morning Snack - Take some fruit or a yogurt for a snack. Drink fluids with the snack.

3) Lunch - Lunch should be one of the largest meals of the day. It will help provide energy for practice/competition/training. Eat a variety of foods such as a sandwich (lean meat, wheat bread, vegetables, low fat cheese, mustard), plenty of fluids, and as much fruits and vegetables as you can. Drink plenty of fluids with lunch.

4) Mid Afternoon Snack - Take some of your lunch and have it as a snack. Fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, granola bar, or half sandwiches are all good choices. As always, be sure to have fluids.

5) Post Workout Nutrition - This is the most important time to replenish energy stores after practice/competition/training. There is a direct relationship between the time when nutrients are put into the body after training and the amount the body replenishes energy stores. Therefore, you should have a high carbohydrate/moderate protein meal as soon as possible to make sure you optimize this period of time to ensure energy for future training sessions. A cold liquid beverage with a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 3:1 and vitamins and minerals is ideal.

6) Dinner - Dinner should be one of your smaller meals. If you eat throughout the day and have a post workout shake, you should not be starving at dinner. Dinner should also be smaller because you are not going to expend a lot of calories after the meal. Be sure to eat lean protein, a large helping of fruits and vegetables, and a moderate/small amount of complex carbohydrates. Drink plenty of fluids.

7) Before Bedtime Snack - A low-fat and high quality protein snack before bedtime will help your muscles recover during sleep and will shorten the time that the body has to go without calories until the next day. Low-fat dairy products or meal replacement shakes are good choices. Be sure to have a small amount of fluid (water is best).

III) Caloric Needs/Body Type

Male athletes generally need more than 22.7 calories per pound of body weight each day, or more than 3,800 calories per day for a 170-pound man.  Male athletes trying to build muscle mass need 24 to 27 calories per pound of body weight.  See a sample here.

Female athletes need about 20 to 23 calories per pound of body weight each day. This is equivalent to 2,600 to 2,990 calories a day for a 130-pound woman.  Female athletes trying to increase muscle mass may need up to 27 calories per pound of body weight, which is equivalent to 3,510 calories per day for a 130-pound athlete.  See a slightly lower sample here.

Please click below for links on how to manage portions in the calorie control guide as well as how to identify your body type and how it best responds to food.
     Calorie Control Guide
     Body Type

IV) Body Image

Please read this excerpt (BODY IMAGE AND BEHAVIOR IN NCAA DIVISION III FEMALE ATHLETES INVOLVED IN TEAM SPORTS IN THE MIDWEST, Leigh A. Sears, M.S., The Ohio State University 2007) or the full article here.

V) Nutrient Balance

Too much of almost everything is usually not good for you. Try to eat a variety of foods at each meal to get a balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Most athletes consume too much carbohydrates and fat and not enough protein. Therefore, at each meal try to consume more high quality protein, as much fruits and vegetables as you can, and limit the amount of complex and simple carbohydrates and fat that you consume. Essential amino acids before a workout and a post workout shake of carbs/protein can increase rates of protein synthesis up to 3 times for a prolonged amount of time after a workout.

VI) Good Sources of Each Macronutrient

1) Carbohydrate - whole grain rice/pasta/bread/cereal and fruit
2)  Protein - lean meat, any seafood, low fat dairy products
3) Fat - nuts and fruit


Good Choices

Fair Choices

Poor Choices

  • Apples, Applesauce
  • Cherries, peaches, plums
  • Pears, blueberries, peaches
  • Chick-peas, beans, lentils
  • Barley
  • Eggplant, mushrooms
  • Onions, tomatoes, lettuce
  • Broccoli, brussel, sprouts
  • Whole grain breads/rolls
  • High fiber cereals
  • Brown or wild rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Squash, peas, sweet potatoes
  • Corn, baked beans
  • Unsweetened fruit juices
  • Bananas, grapes, raisins
  • Pancakes, waffles, white rice
  • White potatoes, white bread
  • Pasta, bagels, sweetened cereals
  • Fruit drinks, soda, candy
  • Maple syrup, corn syrup, dates, figs
  • Corn chips, crackers, pretzels
  • Honey, molasses, ketchup

Good Choices

Fair Choices

Poor Choices

  • Skim Milk, Fat Free yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese, Egg Whites
  • White Tuna packed in water
  • White meat skinless poultry
  • 95% lean ground beef/turkey
  • Non-fried fish/seafood
  • Trimmed beef/pork tenderloin
  • Beans, peas, lentils
  • 2% Milk, low-fat cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Whole eggs, dark meat tuna in water
  • Dark meat skinless poultry
  • 85% lean ground beef/turkey, turkey bacon or sausage
  • Trimmed pork chops or lamb
  • Trimmed choice steaks
  • Nuts, seeds, natural peanut butter
  • Whole milk, regular cheese
  • Ice cream, frozen custard
  • 75% lean ground beef, fried chicken, fish, seafood
  • Bacon, sausage, bologna
  • Hotdogs, pepperoni, salami, beef or pork ribs
  • Untrimmed steak
  • Cheese burgers

Good Choices

Fair Choices

Poor Choices

  • Seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseeds or oil
  • Primrose oil, olives
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Avocados or guacamole
  • Fish, clams, oysters,
  • Scallops
  • nuts
  • Tropical oils (coconut, palm)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Light Mayo
  • Sesame Oil, Soybean Oil
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Partially hydrogenated oils
  • Bacon, butter
  • Cream, cream cheese
  • Sour cream, ice cream
  • High fat dairy products
  • Lard
  • Veal
  • Lamb

From 11/1/06 3:36 pm

VII) Approximate Portion Sizes for Some Common Foods

1 oz. meat = size of a matchbox = 8g Pro
3 oz. meat = size of a deck of cards or bar of soap (rec. portion)
8 oz. meat = size of a thin paperback book = 64g Pro
3 oz. potato = size of a computer mouse or a tennis ball
2 tbs. peanut butter = size of a ping pong ball = 8g Pro
1 cup chopped raw vegetables or fruit = baseball size
1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, etc.) = a small handful or shot glass full
1 cup pasta = size of a tennis ball
2 oz. bagel = size of a hockey puck-Cup of lettuce = 4 leaves
1 oz. cheese = size of 4 dice = 7g Pro
3 oz. fish = size of a checkbook = 21g Pro

From NSCA’s Performance Training Journal, Vol. 5, No. 6 pg. 13

Amount and Caloric Needs for Major Macronutrients

180Lbs - 450g CHO, 162g PRO, 45g FAT = 2853 cal
140Lbs - 350g CHO, 126g PRO, 35g FAT = 2219 cal

Protein Content in Common Foods
Food Amount Protein (g)
Whole Milk 1 cup 8
Skim Milk 1 cup 8
Cheddar Cheese 1 oz. 7
Yogurt 1 cup 8
Lean Beef 1 oz. 8
Chicken Breast 1 oz. 8
Luncheon Meat 1 oz. 5
Fish 1 oz. 7
Eggs 1 6
Navy Beans (Cooked) 1/2 cup 7
Roasted Peanuts 1/2 cup 18
Peanut Butter 1 tbsp 4
Broccoli 1/2 cup 2
Carrots 1 1
Banana 1 1
Orange 1 1
Pear 1 1
Wheat Bread 1 slice 3
Bran Flakes 1 cup 4
Doughnuts 1 1
Macaroni 1/2 cup 3
Macaroni and Cheese 1/2 cup 9
Green Peas 1/2 cup 4
Baked Potato 1 3
Power Bar 1 10

* From Williams, Nutrition for Health, Wellness, and Sport (5th Edition).