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Looking for Nutrition Guidelines?--->, FF Insider#81
December 08, 2009
Welcome Back,

Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes.

Athlete Nutrition Guidelines

By Coach J. Hoy, CSCS, PES, NASE Cert., USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified

In a previous newsletter I posted some athlete nutrition guidelines for strength and endurance athletes. I have since had several requests to re-post that article, so here it is:

I want to remind you that I am not a sports nutritionist or dietitian so I am not an expert on this subject, and am only providing general information for your benefit. If you wish to obtain more specific information, a detailed dietary analysis, or a suggested meal plan, then I suggest you contact the Finish First Sports Performance sports nutrition advisor, Heather Mangieri.

All of the information provided by me in this short article is from the text (primarily Table 5.1, page 44) that accompanies the online course by Human Kinetics titled “Advanced Exercise Nutrition,” authored by Marie Dunford, PhD, RD (2007).

In terms of energy (or calories), for strength-trained athletes, it is recommended that the athlete consumes 30-60 calories per kilogram of body weight per day. Exercise type, duration, and intensity are just a few things that affect the number of calories need to provide sufficient energy for optimal performance.

Athletes who do not consume enough calories will not be able to perform optimally.

For example, an athlete who practices daily for an hour, plus strength trains 3 days each week for one hour at a higher intensity, would typically fall in the higher end of the range. Let’s say this athlete is 220lbs, or 100kg. At a need of 45 calories per kilogram of body weight per day, this athlete would need to consume approximately 4500 calories to maintain his/her weight and function optimally.

In terms of energy, three nutrients are capable of providing energy for the athlete: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Carbohydrates provide about 4 calories of energy per gram. Proteins also provide about 4 calories of energy per gram, and fats provide about 9 calories of energy per gram. While fats may provide the most energy per gram, the human body prefers and is designed to use carbohydrates as the primary source of energy (fuel) for exercise.

It is recommended that strength trained athletes consume between 5-7 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per day for high intensity, short duration training. As much as 8-10 grams per kilogram of body weight per day may be needed to support prolonged training.

It is recommended that between 1.4 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day be consumed by strength trained athletes for sufficient tissue repair and additional functions.

And, lastly, at least 1.0 gram of fat per kilogram of body weight per day is recommended to be sufficient enough to meet energy needs for strength trained athletes.

Knowing how many calories are needed and how many calories are being consumed from each of the nutrient groups allows the sports nutritionist to provide detailed recommendations for the desired changes and to support optimal performance. If you would like more information about what a sports nutritionist can do for you, please contact Jeremy at 412-787-5070 or email Heather Mangieri at

Female Athlete Triad: What is it and is it a big deal?

By Emily E. Novitsky, BS, CSCS, Finish First Sports Performance Athletic Performance Specialist

Female Athlete Triad

Are you an active female athlete who is participating in high volumes of exercise (exercising a lot) and replacing your expenditure with low volume of energy intake (poor food choices)? If you feel sick, tired, depressed and are having irregular menstrual periods--or none at all--you may be at risk for the female athlete triad.

The female athlete triad is the correlation of three important concepts that effect female athletes of all ages. The Female Athlete Triad three correlating factors are disordered eating, menstrual disturbances/amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. Recently the topic of the female athlete triad has been very popular due to the increase of popularity of females playing sports and exercising. Another reason for increase prevalence of Female Athlete Triad is “the need to be skinny.” With pressure from the media and other sources girls and athletes have enormous amounts of pressure to be thin and skinny. However the reason “to be skinny” is not to be healthy or perform but merely for looks. In some cases the girls not meeting the nutritional requirements to stay healthy and are creating more even more health problems. Therefore this is how we get on the topic of the Female Athlete Triad. In the following article I will be discussing the Triad and how it is effecting the youth and female athletes of today. If at any point in the article it may seem overwhelming with information please note that I will attempt to succinctly wrap it up in the conclusion.

The following information is from the Female Athlete Coalition and other organizations that have presented a recent position stand on the Female Athlete Triad (NCAA-National Collegiate Athletic Association, ACSM-American College of Sports Medicine, NATA-National Athletic Training Association, and IOC-Internal Olympic Committee.)

What causes the Female Athlete Triad?

Disordered Eating/Energy Deficit: Disordered Eating can be defined as Bulimia or Anorexia. Anorexia is the basically starving yourself to be thin. Bulimia is when you binge then purge the food from your body. Both cases are very detrimental to your body and health. And they are both very serious conditions that need to be consulted with a doctor about. When an athlete is energy deficit there is an imbalance between the amounts of energy consumed (food) and then the amount of energy expended by exercise or sport. Most instances the case of energy deficiency is due to the fact of conscious restriction of food intake due to body image or need “to be thin/skinny.”

Menstrual Disturbances/Amenorrhea: The most serious menstrual problem would be amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is the cessation or stopping of the female menstrual cycle. The reason the body stops the menstrual cycle is due to the lack of body fat on the female. According to the female triad amenorrhea starts after the no menstrual period for 3 months. However the triad is still a risk for those athletes that have irregular periods. Osteoporosis/Bone Loss: A female that is at risk for the triad can also have the risk of osteoporosis or bone loss. Since the female with triad is either not eating properly or minimally there is severe increase of risk for bone loss due to the fact that the body is not getting enough calcium and minerals for their bones. This risk of osteoporosis puts the athlete at a severe increase risk of bone fractures or stress fractures.

The following list is of some common signs and symptoms of the female athlete triad.

Common Signs and Symptoms:

• Irregular or absent menstrual cycles

• Always feeling tired and fatigued

• Problems sleeping

• Stress fractures and frequent or recurrent injuries

• Often restricting food intake

• Constantly striving to be thin

• Eating less than needed in an effort to improve performance or physical appearance

• Cold hands and feet

However as an athlete that depends on body image for their sport gymnastics or swimming. It may seem as a usual occurrence. The fact of the matter is that it isn’t healthy and could be potentially setting our female athletes to fail rather than succeed. As a coach or parent you should encourage your female athlete to well-balance diet according to the food pyramid. With the proper nutrition it will be helping the athlete achieve the ultimate goal of success. Try to focus on being a healthy athlete with a positive body image.

More importantly as an athlete you should be aware of athlete nutrition guidelines and how following them will affect your participation in sports. Furthermore as athletes you should consult a professional on the alterations of your diet for weight-loss or sports enhancement. Consult a nutritionist, strength coach, athletic trainer and not a magazine or the internet. Also as an athlete you should be aware of your menstrual cycles and record them monthly so can know if you have missed it. If you feel that you may have any signs or symptoms of the female athlete triad, consult a physician immediately.

Therefore with proper nutrition, proper conditioning, skill practice and rest every athlete can meet their full potential. However your body is a math problem and if you take a factor out of it then you will never be able to solve the equation. Make sure that, as coaches, parents and professionals that come in contact with female athletes, you are mentally screening the girls for the triad. If any of the three factors come into play make sure you immediately consult a physician. The best form of prevention is the knowledge to look for the signs and symptoms of the female athlete triad. If you or anyone you know has additional questions pertaining to the female athlete triad feel free to contact Emily or Jeremy at or call us at 412-787-5070.

Motivational Quotes

"A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd."
-- Max Lucado

"Leadership is an action, not a position."
-- Donald H. McGannon

"Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence."
-- Michael O'Brien

"One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you."
-- Dennis A. Peer

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Thank You for Your Support

Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

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