PREP LACROSSE NUTRITIONAL GUIDE
To get into the best physical and mental shape for your upcoming season, adopt these healthy habits...
Habit #1: Avoid refined, added, and fake sugars.
The usual food culprits:
● Flavored yogurts
● Flavored oatmeals
● Energy bars
● Items labeled “low‐fat,” “heart‐healthy,” “whole‐grain,” etc.
● Frozen meals
● Trail mixes
● ...and more!
The usual drink culprits:
● All sodas (even diet and “Zero” forms because “artificial sweeteners . . . encourage sugar craving and sugar dependence”)
● Electrolyte drinks
● Fruit juices
● Flavored waters
● Some supposedly healthy “green” drinks,kombuchas, etc.
According to Healthline.com, high sugar consump on may increase your risk for all of the following:
● Weight gain Cancer
● Cellular aging Poor dental health
● Heart disease Depression
● Low energy Cognitive decline
● Fatty liver
● ● Diabetes
● Accelerated skin aging
● Kidney disease
● It can also negatively impact your athletic and mental performance.
Consider this fact: In 1822, the average American consumed around 45 grams of sugar (the amount found in one 12‐oz soda) every five days. As of 2012, the average American was consuming about 765 grams every five days.Doctors, researchers, and nutritionists all agree that we should eat 6‐9 teaspoons (24‐36 grams) max of sugar each day; eating less is obviously be er. (For reference, 1 teaspoon = 4 grams.) It’s best to eat sugar in natural forms⎯like fruit!⎯not in processed foods. (Don’t go crazy with the fruit, though! Think of fruit as “nature’s candy”; it can nega vely affect your blood sugar levels just as much as refined sugar if you consume too much, so s ck to the low‐sugar varie es.)
Action step: Check the sugar content of any packaged item/beverage before you eat/drink it. Ideally, consume as little refined sugar as possible (fewer than 10g/day).
Habit #2: Avoid packaged/processed foods.
Processed foods contain added sugar, cheap oils, refined carbohydrates, and preserva ves. Thus, packaged food is just a combina on of addi ves and ingredients that are made to taste like real food; it is not real food. Food conglomerates aren’t stupid; they’ve perfected the the salt‐sugar‐fat ra o in packaged foods to make your taste buds water and your brain want more! Clean, whole foods like vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, cheese, plain yogurt, eggs, and meat are nutrient‐dense; processed, fake foods are nutrient‐poor. Your body loves the nutrients in clean, whole foods, so it’ll perform way be er in all areas when you priori ze these. Ask yourself, “Would my great great great grandmother recognize this item?” If your answer is “no,” don’t make a habit of eating it!
Action step: Cook/prep your own breakfasts, lunches, and dinners using whole ingredients. You’ll also save money!
Breakfast, lunch, and snack ideas (mix + match them!):
● Eggs (any way you want, as long as you include the yolks!)
● Plain, full‐fat yogurt
● Cottage cheese
● Nuts and seeds
● Cheese (not the highly processed chemical kind, like Kraft singles)
● Meat sticks
● Egg/tuna/chicken/salmon salad
Habit #3: Prioritize high‐quality sleep.
This Healthline.com article summarizes the 10 reasons sleep is important:
● Poor sleep can make you fat.
● Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories.
● Good sleep can improve concentra on and productivity.
● Good sleep can maximize athletic performance.
● Poor sleepers have a greater risk of heart disease and stroke.
● Sleep affects glucose metabolism and type II diabetes risk.
● Poor sleep is linked to depression.
● Sleep improves your immune function.
● Poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation.
● Sleep affects emo ons and social interactions.
“While the brain sleeps, it clears out harmful toxins.” Imagine your brain = dirty clothes. To clean clothes, you throw them into the washing machine; they need to complete the en re wash cycle. For your teenage brain to fully clean itself, it needs at least 7‐8 hours of high‐quality sleep each night. When you get fewer than 7‐8 hours (minimum!) or if your sleep quality is poor, it’s like taking the clothes (or your brain) out of the washing machine before they’re clean. If this happens night a er night, your brain can never fully clean itself; the toxins build up. SLEEP. IS. SO. IMPORTANT. The sooner in life you learn this, the be er off you’ll be. Believe it or not, the sleep decisions you make each day can affect your life days, months, and even years from now. It may be tempting to stay up late tex ng friends, playing video games, watching TV, etc., but the blue light from screens nega vely impacts the quality of your sleep. Further, “Cell phones emit radiofrequency radia on (radio waves), a form of non‐ionizing radia on, from their antennas. Parts of the body nearest to the antenna can absorb this energy.” These radio waves may also impact the quality of your sleep.
Action steps: Make sure you go to bed early enough so that you can get at least 7‐8 hours of sleep each night. Put your phone (and other screens) to bed at least an hour before you put yourself to bed. Don’t cheat! While sleeping, switch your phone to “airplane” mode so that you’re not disturbed by sounds, vibrations, and radio waves. Give your brain the best chance to fully clean itself!