Part of the results process in strength and conditioning is nutrition (big part of recovery!). Alwyn Cosgrove, well respected fat loss expert, has stated (too many times) that diet is #1 and #2 in importance in order to see body fat decrease and to stay off (along with training and recovering properly). In the case of athletes, most of who we train are looking to increase muscle while staying lean. Increasing muscle is a common goal amongst males in the lifting world. The first question I ask athletes whose goal is to increase their weight is always “what did you eat for breakfast?” The typical response is either “I don’t have enough time to make breakfast” or (insert cereal brand name here). Neither choice will help to bring one closer to their goals.
If a lack of time is the reason for not eating healthy then the athlete’s priorities should be reexamined. If you can play hours of video games then you can make a 5-10 minute meal. Healthy meals do not take hours to make. By the way eating breakfast has been known to cause…
- Less body fat
- Less chronic, non-communicable disease
- Improved learning/retention
- Improved mood
- Better food choices later in the day
- Improved energy
- Muscle preservation
- Increased strength
- Lower cholesterol
- Improved bowel movements (who wouldn’t enjoy this?)
- Balanced blood sugars
(Taken from Precision Nutrition’s website)
Considering most of our athletes are middle/high school aged, it can be a hard-sell on breakfast. Again it comes down to goals and priorities of the athlete. Those that see great results and are successful are the ones that set goals and are determined to achieve them. Athletes that want to play well, improve, prevent injury, and crush their opponents can start with establishing priorities (nutrition wise) and implementing them slowly.