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Fuel-Up Like an Olympian

Englewood Hospital Offers World-Class Fitness Tips for the Average Athlete

(Englewood, NJ, August 9, 2012) -- Every four years, the world stops to admire the strength and stamina of the globe’s greatest athletes, as Olympians take center stage to compete for gold and glory.

So what does it take for these elite competitors to prepare for the Games?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports Olympians eat an average of 8,000 to 10,000 calories a day to compensate for the intense amount of training leading up to their performance. That’s up to five times more than the average active person, who eats between 2,000 and 2,800 calories a day.

Of course, the science of fueling athletes includes much more than simply piling food up on a plate. Coaches and nutritionists focus on the timing between meals and snacks, hydration and finding the right balance between carbohydrates and proteins.

They also factor in the individual needs of each Olympian, including how much speed, endurance, and strength is needed for a particular event. Experts say the right combination of food and fluid hold the key to achieving the best possible workout, even if you’re not going for the gold.

“Consuming adequate foods and fluids before, during and after any competition delays fatigue, enhances performance, and improves recovery from exercise,” said Joanne Lewandoski, RD, CDE, Chief Clinical Dietitian at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. “Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source of energy for athletes, required both before and after any competition. Proteins provide amino acids to build, maintain and repair muscle tissue and serve as additional fuel during endurance exercise. Adequate fluid intake prevents dehydration and improves performance.”

Whether you’re running a marathon or simply swimming laps at your local pool, Englewood Hospital offers Olympic-style advice for everyone who wants to train like a pro:

Food Fuel: Skipping breakfast is not an option when you jumpstart your day with a workout. It is important to fuel your body with the right nutrients - including carbohydrates, lean protein and fluid.

Hydrate Right: Hop on the scale first thing in the morning and right after you workout. Any weight loss represents the amount of fluid you sweat out while exercising. Replenishing that lost liquid is extremely important. Replace every pound with 24 ounces of water to help your body build muscle and cushion your joints.

Recovery Snack: A recovery snack is recommended to give your body the boost of energy it needs after a rigorous workout. Protein can help aid muscle repair. Eat within 15 minutes to an hour after exercising.

Englewood Hospital and Medical Center provides outpatient counseling as well as individual nutrition consultations. For more information, visit www.englewoodhospital.com.

Source: HealthDay

 
About Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
 
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center provides the highest level of compassionate, patient care and safety through a broad range of advanced clinical programs, treatments and diagnostic services. It is renowned for its bloodless medicine and surgery program, cardiac and vascular programs and its leadership in breast care, oncology and joint replacement services. Through its affiliation with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Mount Sinai Consortium for Graduate Medical Education, this acute-care and community teaching hospital trains medical residents in many disciplines, including internal medicine, critical care medicine, surgery, pediatrics, podiatry, and pathology.  Its Vascular Fellowship Program has trained a generation of world-class vascular surgeons.  Additionally, many members of Englewood Hospital’s medical staff serve as faculty at Mount Sinai. Englewood Hospital has earned numerous accreditations from the Joint Commission and other organizations and is among the four percent of hospitals nationwide honored with the prestigious Magnet nursing award, a distinction that has been earned three times by its nursing staff.