What is a baseball nutrition plan? Many baseball pitchers probably do not truly know the answer to this question because of its perceived complexity. Every player must understand how to develop a proper meal plan because it is vital towards baseball success.
Nutrition is the cornerstone for exceptional performance on the baseball field. Every elite athlete has spent countless hours training in the gym and practicing their individual sports, but they have also spent a considerate amount of time developing a nutrition program.
Without proper baseball nutrition your body will be weak, unhealthy, and incapable of performing at the highest possible level.
Developing a baseball nutrition program does not have to be a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive venture. The first step towards good nutrition is to define good and bad foods.
Good vs. bad foods for pitchers
There are several ways to determine whether a food product is good or bad. A good principal to standby is by checking the perishable dates on all the foods that you intend to purchase.
This is a good rule of thumb because unhealthy foods such as candy, chips, and dessert items will have no perishable date. These foods are processed with unhealthy preservatives that allows for this unnatural food to maintain its shelf life. Stay away from these foods if you're serious about your baseball health.
Foods that are much more desirable for a baseball diet plan include meat, milk, cheese, natural peanut butter, and unsalted nuts. Each of these foods items have a perishable date because they are for the most part, naturally processed.
Healthy foods for a baseball diet plan
Here are some nutritional recommendations to consider:
Protein for pitchers
Since baseball pitchers are training year round, breaking down muscle fiber, and sometimes losing weight, it's important that players consume the proper amounts of protein. Excessive weight loss can be associated with decreased pitching velocity and hitting power.
Lean proteins that are low in fat are preferable options for any baseball players diet. Good proteins including chicken breast, turkey, fish, and shellfish. Red steak provides high levels of protein, but is high in cholesterol, so it should be eaten sparingly.
Other acceptable non-meat proteins include beans (kidney, garbanzo, black, pinto, and baked), and egg whites. Beans provide the body with a great source of vegetable protein and fiber. Eggs are very high in protein, but the yolk should be avoided on most occasions because of the high cholesterol.
Typically, baseball players should consume one gram or a little less of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you're 170 then you would need close to 170 grams of protein.
Protein supplementation occurs throughout the day, but most importantly following any exercise routine within 30 minutes to an hour. Consuming such high levels of protein may seem not only tedious, but also very expensive. One of the best ways to reach your daily protein goals is through protein shakes or meal replacements.
Carbohydrates for pitchers
It is very easy for many baseball players to be consumed by their protein rituals, but consuming carbohydrates is equally, if not more important. Carbohydrates are the foundation for athletic explosion and energy. Without a proper dose of carbohydrates, an athlete will be left with no fuel.
Consuming the proper amount of carbohydrates is slightly different than your protein intake. Like protein, carbs should be consumed periodically throughout the day. One of the most important feeding periods should be about an hour before any training session, baseball practice, or game.
Excellent carbohydrate foods include whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta, and whole oats (oatmeal). Stay away from any food that is bleached such as white rice.
This word is so often villainized that we forget how important GOOD fats can be for our health. Bad fats are those that exist within fried foods such as saturated or trans fats. If you were unaware, both saturated and trans fats can raise your cholesterol, and even increase the risk of heart disease.
There are several food substances that provide "good" fats. From a more technical standpoint, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are the two fats that are considered healthy.
Common healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, olives, almonds, peanuts, cashews, peanut butter, walnuts, salmon, tuna, trout, and tofu.
Foods that have high levels of trans and saturated fats include butter, ice cream, cookies, doughnuts, chips, microwave popcorn, crackers, french fries, friend chicken, and candy.
The healthy fats have the omega-3 ingredient, and that's what makes these foods healthy. Omega-3 fats can be eaten on a daily basis, and is even encouraged.
Baseball pitchers and players should know what liquids are vital towards success. Athletes in general need much more water than the average person because of how much is constantly depleted.
Obvious liquids that should be avoided include alcohol and excessive caffeine. Sports drinks can consumed on occasion, but don't make it a habit because of the high sugar content.
Supplements for pitchers?
Having a well-designed baseball nutrition program should be enough for most players to see significant results, but some people are what's considered hard-gainers. Individuals with this genetic makeup may require supplements such as creatine.
Keep working hard. No off days. No excuses.
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To get to the next level, preparation matters. Your work ethic matters. Being committed to the process matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching. The journey is just as important as the end result.
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