The following are recommendations on proper Sleep, Nutrition and Hydration, all of which will give your body the fuel for an awesome cross country season!
- Adequate sleep allows you to be more alert and focused on schoolwork and gives you the ability to train hard
- Teenagers need AT LEAST 8-10 hours of sleep a night
- Your muscles, tendons and ligaments are repaired while sleeping, allowing your body to recover from training
- Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day establishes a routine for quality sleep
- Avoid using phones, iPads, computers & TV’s before bed as the light disrupts the process of falling asleep
- Avoid caffeine after 2 – 3 PM
Three “macronutrients” we get calories (energy) from: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
1. Carbohydrates: Stored as glycogen in muscles and liver
o “Bad carbs” = simple carbohydrates, seen in table sugar, candy, sodas; eat in moderation!
o “Good carbs” = complex carbohydrates, seen in whole grain breads, vegetables, beans, oatmeal; these
should constitute the bulk of eaten carbs
2. Protein: Important for repairing muscles and other tissues after exercise
o Beans, fish, meats (also good sources of iron)
3. Fats: Used as building blocks in cells throughout the body
o “Bad fats” = trans fats, hydrogenated fats, saturated fats, seen in baked/fried foods; eat in moderation! o “Good fats” = monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, seen in oils like olive oil, in peanut butter, and fish; these should be the bulk of eaten fats Suggested daily intake:
- Carbohydrates: 45-65%
- Proteins: 10-30%
- Fats: 25-35%
- 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables
A runner who is ~150 pounds will need to consume anywhere from 2,500-5,000 calories a day! You’re growing, exercising, and working hard every day at school, so eat when you’re hungry!
Weight loss occurs during exercise due to loss of water through sweating o Losing 1-2% of your body weight can negatively impact performance! o 3% or more can increase the risk of a heat-related illness occurring
- Urine that is pale yellow (like lemonade) is a sign of proper hydration while dark urine (like apple juice) is a sign of dehydration
- Steer clear of sodas and sweetened juices as they contain a lot of simple carbohydrates (“bad sugars”)
- Daily recommended is ~2.5 – 3.5 L per day
- Have a water bottle with you throughout the day to continually drink from, and for after running
- Make sure to drink when you’re thirsty but don’t force yourself to drink uncomfortable amounts of water
IRON DEFICIENCY IN ENDURANCE ATHLETES
- Iron deficiency is becoming much more common in both female and male endurance athletes, and can directly affect athletic performance.
- All athletes are encouraged to get a blood test before season to determine their base levels for: Hemoglobin, serum ferritin and hematocrit.
- Always ask for a copy of the blood test results, because what is in the “normal range” for a sedentary person is not the same as the “optimal range” for an athlete.
- If there is a deficiency, this is not a “quick fix”, it can take 4 – 8 weeks to increase levels and notice a performance improvement. If blood tests reveal that there is a deficiency the form of iron, ferrous bisglycinate, is more easily absorbed and gentler on the gastrointestinal tract.
- For any questions and further clarification, please consult with the coaching staff.