Hitting the Baseball & 8 Critical Rules for Carb Intake in Athletes
Hitting the baseball hard while optimizing bat speed has a lot to do with nutrition as it does with mechanics and physical training. On a cellular level, if you're NOT putting in the right fuel, then your body will run out of gas when you need it most, or sputter to the finish line.
Does it look like top athletes such as Michael Jordan, Albert Pujols, Michael Phelps, or Derek Jeter sputter to the finish line?
Today I want to discuss 8 key points pulled from Mr. Charles Poliquin's article, "Poliquin's Top 10 Carb Intake Rules for Optimal Body Composition." CharlesPoliquin is hailed as the most successful strength coach in the world (from his site). In other words, he is bad ass in the world of athletes!
Of the three macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, & fats), Carbs give athletes the ready-energy needed to maximize bat speed in hitting the baseball. If an athlete does NOT eat the right Carbs or doesn't adhere to the following guidelines, they will NOT put their body in the right position to optimize performance.
Think of your body like a high performance vehicle, a Ferrari, if you will. Now, would you put low grade octane gasoline into your tank OR premium? If you want it to purr like a kitten, then only premium would be well suited.
There are good Carbs and there are bad ones. If you stick to the following, then you'll be better off than 95% of all other hitters your age. Hitting the baseball consistently well and maximizing bat speed abides in the following rules of premium Carb nutrition...
[Please note: consult with your Physician before changing your diet or taking supplements. Swing Smarter dot com and/or its affiliates are not Doctors or certified nutritionist, so partake at your own risk.]
1. Eliminate Grains
White breads, crackers, tortillas, potatoes, chips, pastas, etc. they spike insulin levels, signaling to the body to store sugars, proteins, and fats as cholesterol and body fat.
Grains are also a big source of food allergens, the biggest being: oats, wheat, and spelt.
2. Your Main Source of Carbs Should be Fibrous
Loading up on the following super foods: broccoli, lettuce (greener the better), cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, onions, asparagus, cucumber, spinach, all forms of peppers, and zucchini.
3. Stick to Thin Skinned Darker Fruit
For example, any fruit that has the word berry in it! Thinner skinned fruits produce more anti-oxidants to protect themselves from the sun; a blueberry as opposed to a thick skinned banana (which has way fewer anti-oxidants).
Also, thinner skinned fruits are lower in Glycemic Load (Glycemic Index TIMES the number of Carbohydrate grams). A lower GL means the fruit is low GI* and you can eat quite a bit of it without a dramatic impact on the body's insulin levels.
*The lower the Glycemic Index (GI), the less effect on insulin levels; sticking with lower GI fruits is very important in stabilizing and sustaining energy levels, translating into hitting the baseball harder with more bat speed.
For example, berries & cherries versus bananas & pineapples. They're all low GI, but you're going to get better anti-oxidant value out of the preceding pair.
4. Replace Greens with Grains in Sandwiches
Using a green leafy lettuce wrap instead of bread for the meat, cheese, and fixings for a sandwich. Again, this has to do with curbing high GI foods and keeping insulin levels from spiking.
5. Limit Fructose Intake
Even though fruits are high in nutrients, their main source of energy is fructose. For a more scientific explanation, please read point #7 of the original article link above, Charles Poliquin explains his reasoning much better than I ever could.
Just note, normal human beings need to restrict their fructose intake to 5-10 grams per day, and athletes: no more than 20 grams per day; more specifically high fructose laden foods.
6. Best Time to Load Up on Carbs is 10 Minutes Following Your Workout
According to Poliquin, this is to maximize muscle gains...Carbs act as a transport agent into your cells for the amino acids in protein (the building block of muscle tissue).
You also have an hour-in-a-half after a hard workout to get protein into your body or else you risk losing muscle mass. Hitting the baseball harder with more bat speed requires discipline in nutritional habits, so if you're looking for a really good protein supplement, try Champion Pure Whey Protein Stack shake powder.
I've used this stuff and it's great tasting, even mixed with water.
7. Use Insulin Sensitivity Supplements with High-Carb Post Workout Meals
Using a muscle recovery supplement called Universal Storm (Comes in Grape Splash, Fruit Punch, & Blue Raspberry) will fill you with the needed nutrients: taurine, arginine, magnesium, and R-Form Alpha Lopoic Acids (ALA), with an added bonus of Creatine Monohydrate, to couple with the protein shake and you're well on your way to mega-boosting recovery time!
Please note: If you're an NCAA athlete, you may not be able to take this because it could be a banned substance, so you'll have to check with the NCAA banned substance list. Piggy-backing on number 6 above, hitting the baseball hard requires you to...
8. Add Protein to Post-Workout Carb Intake
The recommended protein intake is 15 grams per 50 pounds of body weight per meal, so if you weigh 175lbs, then your protein intake should be about 52 grams of protein per meal. And, an athlete should be eating between 4-6 times a day. Try the Champion Nutrition protein above and it'll help you recover from hard workouts.
Remember, hitting the baseball well and maximizing bat speed requires an athlete to put premium Carbs in their body for ready energy when they need it most, in the batter's box. Bad Carbs only make your body tired, run down, and lazy, NOT good for boosting swing speed.
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