Avera Medical Minute: How nutrition plays a role in performance and wellness for athletes

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 9:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Avera registered dietitian Anna Heronimus joins us for a question and answer interview about proper nutrition for athletes or those who want to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

Q: So it is really starting to ramp up into the fall sports season. Why is nutrition so important, if we’re going to be working out or if we’re competing in a sport?

A: So proper nutrition is super important for our athletes because it’s what fuels our body and helps our performance and intensity, it really also helps us with recovery and from our intense training and reduce inflammation and prevent injury. And right now it’s super important because it’s replenishing all our fluids that are lost during our training.

Q: I know one thing that a lot of athletes like to do is grab a protein shake especially for breakfast is that something that you’d recommend.

A: So supplements should be more used as a supplement they’re not really supposed to be a meal replacement, so I’m always a promoter of food first because you’re going to get more things than just protein and carbohydrates, you’re going to also be getting some great things like calcium zinc, iron, which are really important to our teenagers actually right now because they’re growing so much.

Q: And it looks like we’re going to have a continuation of the heat of summer, what do we need to do to stay hydrated during that time.

A: Yes, so it is hot so if your workout is less than 60 minutes water is going to do the trick. But sometimes their body does need those sports drinks, especially if we are you know doing something that is longer than an hour. If your training is very hard, or if you guys are going to be doing intense workouts.

Q: Are there certain foods that we could eat that could really boost our immune system?

A: So I really promote just and you know if you’re eating generally healthy so filling up on fruits and vegetables, making sure you have 100% whole grains, and things like protein and heart-healthy fats in your diet every day, you’re going to be already getting those immune-boosting foods. For example, if you guys are having Greek yogurts for breakfast. That’s a great prebiotic and that’s giving you some really good gut health. So that’s going to be helping you with your immune system also a lot of the vegetables we’re eating every day like things like asparagus, green beans have a lot of prebiotics in them which are already going to be helping your immune system, and then don’t forget about those heart-healthy fats like avocados, and olive oils that really promote your immune system as well.

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