Eat Like a Fab Five Gymnast

Team USA brings home the Gold!

Who else saw the Fab Five take home the Gold for the USA?!?! Also, so proud of Gabby Douglas for taking home the all-around Gold! GO USA!!

If you are like me and totally obsessed with gymnastics then you will know these girls put in a lot of hard work and dedication.  Their entire lives revolve around gymnastics including their eating habits. recently reported 3 eating tips from the Fab Five gymnasts:

“1. Eat for energy – One… two… three.. flip! A gymnast’s routine can certainly be demanding. Where else do you see someone standing still one second, and flying through the air the next? These girls don’t need energy for just competitions, but for training hours in the gym as well. Gymnast or not, working out on an empty stomach or with an abundance of sugary snacks can be a slippery slope. Athletes often speak about carbohydrate loading and using quick forms of sugar to give them a boost. The question is, what happens when the boost runs out during an intense routine (which during training can be all day long)? Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fresh fruit, and legumes are better choices since they provide slow-releasing energy that will stay in the system longer than say, a Kit-Kat bar.

2. Eat for balance – Wait! Carbs aren’t the only “athletic” nutrient! One false move on that balance beam and you’re headed for the floor. Balance and flexibility are an absolute must for these athletes, but whether you’re creating balance on a beam or a boardroom it must begin with the diet. This means combining your carbs with proteins and fats to stabilize blood sugar levels and build muscle mass. Eating protein within 20 -30 minutes after a rigorous workout is key. Quick sources include a whey protein shake with ½ cup of fresh fruit or a few brown rice crackers with 3-4 oz lean, organic turkey breast. Other meals can include a leafy green salad with fish or chicken, bell peppers, spinach, and avocado. Or try protein- rich quinoa with chickpeas and fresh herbs. A rainbow of vegetables goes much further than a can of Red Bull since it’s something the body recognizes.

And don’t forget about fat! Gymnasts were always told to stay away from fat, but times are quickly changing as the benefits of healthy fats take center stage. A great addition is 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil per day before the most strenuous workouts. Coconut oil is known for its energy, metabolism, and immunity-boosting benefits. Other great fats include olives, olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, wild salmon, sardines, hempseeds, chia seeds, and high quality fish or krill oil supplements. Eat a nice balance of all three macronutrients every 3-4 hours to avoid blood sugar crashes and you will sail through your own floor routine the entire day.

3. Swallow some “nutritional” insurance – Not to be confused with “health insurance,” nutritional insurance is oral supplementation that fills in all the nutritional gaps that may have been missed with the hectic competition season. The long, lean physique of a gymnast takes very hard work to achieve, so working out in a gym is a full time job. For this reason, it’s important to keep the immune system strong, along with a fully supported cardiovascular and nervous system. Whole-food-based supplements (not the kind found at the drug store) contain vitamins and minerals that help achieve that goal so gymnasts can focus less on how many milligrams of calcium they’ve consumed and more on nailing that dismount. But alas! This doesn’t exclude the rest of us. A multi-vitamin, B-complex, omega 3 supplements, CoQ-10, and a probiotic are the perfect “fab five” that everyone can begin with.”

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