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 Baseball Performance & Injury Prevention Training
 Eating for Weight Gain
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Posted - 07/16/2018 :  06:54:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

The role nutrition plays in a weight training regimen is arguably more important than the training itself, especially in younger athletes who need a general stimulus to elicit muscle growth. Most good strength and conditioning coaches would agree that even the best-written program in the world loses effectiveness without proper nutrient intake. Young athletes who bring in food journals are often surprised when it’s pointed out to them that they consumed a total of 15 grams of lean protein in 48 hours. With this in mind we thought it might help to share a few tips on how to eat for the gains!

1. Eat Lean Protein and vegetables with every meal. Most athletes, especially those involved in weight training, need about .08-1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. There are countless recommendations and ratios out there, but this is typically a good place to start. Protein’s primary role in the body is to build and repair tissue, including muscles. So we must have it! Vegetables are non negotiable. Find a way to prepare them to your liking and include them with your meals. They contain micronutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium that are critical for normal function in the human body. Preparing them in unsaturated oils (i.e., olive, avocado, coconut, etc.) is another great way to add calories for those who need higher caloric intake.

2. Eat more frequently. I like to recommend eating every 2-3 hours. Keeping the blood sugar stable helps with energy and reduced feelings of fatigue. Additionally this puts you in a better position to intake more energy than you expend. (This is the NUMBER ONE FACTOR FOR WEIGHT GAIN!) Bring cliff bars or PBJ, or a protein shake, or all of the above with you to school, practice, weights, etc. Some other good on the go options:

a. Nuts
b. Crackers
c. Fruit Smoothies (throw some protein powder in)
d. Protein/Energy Bars (Beware of crazy ingredients lists/excess sugar)
e. Fruit

3. Supplement Protein Powder. I get asked often what type of protein supplements do you recommend? I don’t have any loyalty to any particular brand or blend, and truth be told it can be a financial burden! My recommendations are to find a brand and product that you trust and to look for quality ingredient lists. Whey and Casein are typically the most popular and effective. Avoid ingredient lists with lots of words that are hard to read—the fewer the ingredients, typically the cleaner and purer the product. Feel free to add yogurt or peanut butter or throw it into a smoothie. There are endless recipe options for protein powder supplements that are delicious. Protein smoothies are a great way to take care of daily fruit recommendations and include vital micronutrients! No more than 1-3 per day though, and include this intake with the body weight recommendation from above. Protein powder supplements shouldn’t replace real, quality food for individuals trying to gain weight.

4. Eat a hearty breakfast. This is my number one pet peeve with young kids who want to train hard in the summer. Set the foundation for your higher calorie day early. Consider this: dinner at 8 PM- Xbox until 12:30 AM- sleep until 9 or 10 AM. The game is at 12PM and a bowl of Fruity Pebbles isn’t enough to break that 14-15 hour fast. Even Ferraris need gas to drive fast. Understand that the food you eat is the energy you need to train or hit homeruns. Get up 30 minutes earlier and crush some eggs and oatmeal.

5. Crush Water. Muscle tissue is highly constituted by water. Being well hydrated allows you to perform, metabolize all the protein you’re downing, and keeps you healthy. The old 64oz/ day recommendation is enough for Grandma during bingo. You’re an athlete and you’re going to sweat a ton in the July heat. Get a 30-40oz canteen and drink 3-4 per day.

We hope this is helpful! Have a great week, and as always feel free to comment with questions or topic requests!

All the best,

The Rapid Team

Andrew Gordon, MS, CSCS
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