Strength & Conditioning Nutrition


Fundamentals: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Water, Vitamins & Minerals as well as Ergogenic Aids


The ultimate performance fuel, carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source (most efficient).  Carbohydrates are broken down in the digestive system and transferred to the blood as glucose and stored in the muscle as muscle glycogen.  

There are two types of carbohydrates:  simple and complex.

Simple Carbohydrates:

o Absorb quickly and cause a spike in blood sugar
o Increase appetite
o Prevent metabolism of fatty acids
o Suppress GH release
Examples of simple carbs are regular table sugar (sucrose) and fruits and fruit juices (fructose)

Complex Carbohydrates:

o Absorb slowly and have a slow and steady digestive release
o Regulate appetite
o Prolong supply of carbs
o Spare and replenish muscle and liver glycogen
Examples of complex carbs are raw fibrous such as vegetables such as spinach, carrots, green beans, cucumbers and broccoli; grains such as oats, breads and bran cereals; starches such as potatoes, pastas, rice and beans


Building block of muscle, protein spares muscle breakdown during exercise and is essential for maintenance, growth and recovery.


Examples of (low-fat) proteins include 85-95% lean ground beef, turkey or ham, beans and peas, skinless chicken or turkey breast (grilled/steamed/baked/boiled), seafood (grilled/steamed/baked/boiled), low fat dairy products (milk, cottage cheese, yogurt), trimmed steaks, lamb or pork chops, white tuna in water, nuts or seeds, egg whites


Fats are required for growth, recovery, and overall health and are a primarily source of energy during low-level activities (sleeping, studying, relaxing etc.).  Fats are necessary for the regulation of certain bodily processes.  You must minimize the intake of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol.

One gram of glycogen is stored with three grams of water.  As glycogen is used, water weight is lost in the process.  Water replenishment is the most important factor during exercise.  Your body will always sacrifice muscle function for temperature regulation.  Remember, a hydrated muscle contracts more efficiently than a dehydrated muscle.


Drinking 1 to 1.5 gallons of water/day will:
o Flush out metabolic waste (lactic acid)

o Maintain bodies cooling systems
o Prevent muscle cramps, strains and pulls/tears.

Dehydration equals:
o Poor Stamina
o Fatigue
o Reduced recovery between workouts
o Muscle cramps and joint pain

Vitamins & Minerals
Dietary surveys show that most athletes are deficient in one or several vitamins and /or minerals.  Needed for normal metabolism, growth, maintenance & repair of tissues, optimum intake should be attained from foods and supplements.  Include a “one-a-day” multi-vitamin in your daily diet.

Ergogenic Aids
Ergogenic aids are any external influences that can be determined to enhance performance. Why take them? To compensate for lousy eating habits!
If you plan on taking any ergogenic aids, they must be approved by NCAA and university guidelines.

Pre-Workout Meal

The optimal pre-workout meal should be high in complex carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar throughout competition and low in fats and proteins.  Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar as they could cause a spike in blood sugar.

Post-Workout Meal

The optimal post-workout meal should be high in carbohydrates and protein: 4:1 ratio carbs to protein.  This will help replenish glycogen stores and is optimal for muscle repair and growth.  There is a 60-minute window post-workout timing for elevated insulin sensitivity.

Our Strategy

Rule #1: Meal Frequency
o Consume five to six meals a day
o Eat every three to four hours

Rule #2: Caloric Intake
o Based on Lean Body Mass (LBM)
o Based on activity levels


Dos and Don’ts

o Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day
o Pre-workout meal: high in complex carbohydrates, low in fat & protein

o Post-workout meal: high in carbohydrates and proteins
o Avoid consuming large amounts of kcals in the evening when activity levels are low.
o Add fiber to each meal to create a sense of fullness

o Avoid consuming anything in excess (alcohol, caffeine, etc.)

o Increase insulin response to food and you make more fat


NEVER let yourself get deep down hungry!
o You will likely increase amount you eat at one time, forcing you to store more of what you eat as fat
o Makes you lose lean mass, forcing a lowering of metabolic rate, making it difficult to eat the way you did without gaining weight

NEVER eat too much at one time!
o You force an excessive insulin response that guarantees more fat storage
o You force more of what you eat to be stored as fat, regardless of it’s substrate content