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A healthy diet is a must for an athlete striving to enhance his performance. An average male athlete – 16 years old, 5' 10 and 150 pounds – needs 3,300 to 3,500 calories per day. Of these calories, 60% need to be complex carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 25% in fat.


Food Pyramid


Breads, Cereals, Rice & Pasta

  • Fiber, complex carbohydrates, iron and B vitamins.

  • You need 8 to 11 daily servings.



  • Fiber, complex carbohydrates and vitamin C.

  • You need 4 or more daily servings.



  • Fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamin A and C.

  • You need 4 or more daily servings.


Milk, Yogurt & Cheese

  • Protein, calcium, complex carbohydrates and riboflavin.

  • You need 4 or more daily servings.


Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Peas, Eggs & Nuts

  • Protein, iron, niacin and thiamin.

  • You need 2 to 3 daily servings.


Training Diet


Pre-Competition Meal

The purpose of this meal is not to supply extra energy for competition, but to keep you from feeling hungry before and during the game. If possible, do not eat anything three to four hours before the game. This meal should be primarily complex carbohydrates because they empty from the stomach faster. Remember: cereals, breads, pasta, muffins, pancakes, rolls, fruits and vegetables are all good sources of carbohydrate.



Dehydration is an athlete's worst enemy. It will deteriorate performance as well as cause muscle cramps, headaches, organ damage and even death. Cool water is the most efficient manner in which to replenish your fluids. Sweetened drinks and alcohol pull water into the stomach causing it to "puddle". Drink 16 to 24 ounces of water before strenuous exercise and 8 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during the event if possible.


Weight Gain

To gain weight safely you need to eat 500 more calories than you burn each day. Eat three large meals per day, plus an afternoon and evening snack. Select foods that are high in calories such as potatoes, corn, nuts and dried fruits. It takes an extra 3500 calories to gain one pound. By eating 500 additional calories each day, in one week, you will have gained one pound.



Complex carbohydrates (such as bread, pasta, cereals, fruits, and vegetables) are the best source of energy for athletes. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in trained muscles. Glycogen is the most efficient and readily available energy source for muscles.  Normal glycogen stores last up to two hours of continuous exercise.

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