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Good vs Bad Nutrition for Athletes

<p>You've probably heard of carb loading before a big race. But as much as the right foods can help boost an athlete's performance, the wrong foods can make it that much worse.</p>

JOPLIN, MO-- You've probably heard of carb loading before a big race.  But as much as the right foods can help boost an athlete's performance, the wrong foods can make it that much worse.

"Athletes are always looking for that extra edge. Maybe to gain that extra second or that extra inch on their performance. So having adequate nutrition, enough carbohydrates, lean protein, can actually help them perform better." And Freeman Diabetic Education Dietitian Heather Boline says that's even more important when the actual event arrives. "They need about 60% of their calories from carbs. So the day before an event, they want to make sure that they're getting adequate carbohydrates. Good sources like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, even pastas would work."

But athletes should avoid other foods, especially those high in fat and fiber. Boline adds, "Before a competition, or before a practice are not a real smart choice just because they'll cause an upset stomach during the performance." Even some foods on a normally on a healthy diet aren't good choices on the big day. "An example of too much fiber or high fiber foods would be like salads or beans.  Maybe high fiber breads."

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