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University of Washington

Performance Nutrition Manual
University of Washington
Sport Nutrition Department

As a student athlete, you have the power to improve your performance through food. This manual will help guide you in making smart nutrition choices throughout your competitive year. The stress you endure through sport and school increases your nutrition needs. You must have plenty of the right food to compete at your highest level.



Table of Contents
Page 2: Food Is Fuel- Intro to high performance nutrition
Page 3: The Basics- Make your food work for you!
Page 4: Energy Requirements
Page 5: Carbohydrates
Page 6: Proteins: The Muscle Re-builder
Page 7: Fat: Essential, but in moderation
Page 8: Increasing Lean Muscle Mass
Page 9: Fat Loss- lose the baggage
Page 10: Timing is Everything
Page 11-12: Recovery Nutrition
Page 13: Snack Attack
Page 14-16: Fluid Replacement and Alcohol
Page 17: On the Road Again…Performance Nutrition while Traveling Page 18: Fast Food not FAT Food
Appendix A- Sample Meal Plans
Appendix B- Grocery List
Appendix C- UW Approved Web Resources- For more information
Nutrition can make or break your performance as an athlete.
Our sport nutrition department is here to help you make the changes necessary to help you perform at Husky level…the best!
For answers to your sport nutrition questions or for a custom eating plan call: 206-221-4626

THE BASICS- Make your food work for you!
If you follow these simple guidelines, you will improve your football performance. EAT at the right times
Maximize your energy stores and your performance by taking in carbohydrate and protein foods every 3-4 hours during the day (see TIMING for more information).
EAT the right foods
Carbohydrates are your major source of fuel. They fuel your muscles for performance. Athletes need high quality carbohydrates throughout the day to maintain energy stores. Without plenty of carbohydrate, you will feel fatigued and will not be able to perform at your best on the field or in the classroom.


EAT high quality (hq) protein
Consume hq protein throughout the day like chicken, fish, turkey, egg, tofu, beans, low-fat dairy, and lean beef (top round, sirloin, filet). DRINK plenty of fluids
Dehydration causes fatigue, cramping, and a decrease in performance. Drink water, milk, juice and sport drink at regular intervals throughout the day. LIMIT fat intake
Fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet. However, fat takes a long time to break down and be converted to energy. So, moderating your fat intake (especially around training and competing times) will help you perform better. Make WEIGHT CHANGES in the off season

Eating too few calories can decrease your metabolism, decrease your strength, and be detrimental to your performance. If you need to lose body fat, consult your sports nutritionist (or this manual) for an eating plan to suit your needs.

Media presents a picture that the “average American” needs to cut back on food/carbs/fat. You are not “average”. As an athlete your needs are unique and exceed the needs of other non-athletes. Don’t follow the masses, take care of your needs as a student athlete, commit to fueling your body! Use your SUPPORT

As a UW student athlete you have a lot of support around performance; coaches, team doctor, athletic trainer, strength and conditioning coach, sport nutritionist, among many others. Being a division I athlete require dedication, inspiration and a lot of hard work. Your “team” is here to help you!!


Energy Requirements
Food = Calories = ENERGY
How many calories do I need?
Calorie needs vary from athlete to athlete and from day to day. Males may need more calories than women. You may have a higher metabolism and that increases your needs. Calculating a range of calories for yourself can be helpful in meeting your goals. Caloric needs should be met with high-energy, nutrientdense foods. An athlete engaging in high-intensity activity (basketball,swimming, running, etc.) needs 3,000-6000 more calories per day to maintain weight. A simple estimation of calorie, carb and protein needs for an athlete is as follows: Training

Mild (pre-season/ offseason
Moderate (in training)
Heavy (in training)
Very Heavy (building)

(Calories/lb) (Grams/lb)

(Grams/lb) Fats
Balance of




energy for
all training

A 200 lb football player training in season (heavy) needs how many calories each day?
200 lb x 18 calories/lb = 3600 kcal each day (minimum)
This athlete needs to eat AT LEAST 3600 kcal each day to keep his body weight at 200 lbs. If he wants to gain more lean muscle mass, he must eat more food (approx. 500 calories extra). If he wants to lose body fat, he must eat less food (approx. 250-500 calories less).

My weight _____lb x ______calories for my level of training (see chart) = ______Calories per day
**Remember: Your energy needs will change throughout the season** If you want to lose or gain weight, consult the UW Sports Nutritionist for body composition testing and nutrition plan.

Need ideas for what to eat? See MEAL PLANS Appendix A.
Need a grocery list for what foods to buy? See GROCERY LIST Appendix B. 4

What are they for?
Carbs are an athlete’s primary source of energy. They provide working muscles the energy they need to jump, run, lift and swim. High performance athletes must make sure they are taking in plenty of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are stored in the muscle and the liver as glycogen; like an internal storage locker for energy! Your glycogen stores will be depleted during workouts and must be replenished. If you forget to replace your glycogen stores, you will not have enough energy the next day; scary if it is your game day! 50-70% of your energy should come from carbohydrates.

Choose these HIGH CARB FOODS

Whole Grains: oatmeal, 100% whole grain breads, whole wheat or corn tortillas, whole wheat bagels and English muffins, pasta, brown rice, lowsugar cereals (ie: All-bran, Cheerios, Total, Kashi, Wheat Chex, Wheaties, Raisin Bran, Smart Start, Basic 4, Blueberry Morning)

Fruits (fresh and canned in own juice) and 100% fruit juice

Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, asparagus, bell peppers, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, winter squash, zucchini, lettuce (romaine, green or red leaf), etc.

Starchy vegetables: red or sweet potatoes, yams, corn, green peas, and beans (refried, kidney, black, pinto, chili, etc.)

Dairy: yogurt, low fat cheeses (like moz cheese sticks) 1%, nonfat or skim white or chocolate milk, cottage cheese, pudding

**To perform at your best LIMIT these “refined” carbohydrate foods: ...

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