Sound Bites Vol 1 #2
EAT TO COMPETE: Energy Needs
Now that spring racing season is truly here, eating to compete and still train hard is the order of the nutritional day. And of course, we can’t forget about fueling all the other things we do in a day—studying, working, chores, and maybe even taking time for a movie, party, or night out with the significant other without falling asleep.
What is the #1 priority to our bodies when it comes to nutrition? Getting enough energy to do the job! And that means eating enough calories. Calories are the way we measure energy from food.
There are only 4 sources of calories from food—carbohydrate, protein, fat, and alcohol. Hopefully, alcohol is not a source of energy for our junior rowers and not too big a source for the masters. Vitamins and minerals help your body use calories, but they in themselves do not provide energy.
The number of calories you need in a day depends on many things, for example, your age, sex, height, weight, metabolic rate, and activity level. For the athlete, activity can increase basic energy needs by 50-100%.
The chart below shows you the estimated number of calories you need per day at different ages to maintain a healthy body weight with moderate activity:
|Boys 11-14 yrs||16 calories/cm height *||Boy 5’10” (177.8 cm) = 2,845 cal/day|
|Boys 15-18 yrs||17 calories/cm height||Boy 6’2” (188 cm) = 3,200 cal/day|
|Girls 11-14 yrs||14 calories/cm height||Girl 5’6” (167.64 cm) = 2,350 cal/day|
|Girls 15-18 yrs||13.5 calories/cm height||Girl 6’0” (182.88 cm) = 2,470 cal/day|
|Men > 25 yrs||15 calories/pound||Man 165# = 2,475 cal/day|
|Women > 25 yrs||13 calories/pound||Woman 145# = 1,885 cal/day|
- To get your height in centimeters, multiply your height in inches by 2.54.
- To get your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2.
- Another formula to estimate calorie needs for adults is to use the Harris-Benedict Equation (http://www-users.med.cornell.edu/~spon/picu/calc/beecalc.htm) to estimate your basal energy expenditure (BEE), then multiply the result by an activity factor:
- Males: BEE = 66 + (13.7 x wt in kg) + (5 x ht in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
- Females: BEE = 655 + (9.6 x wt in kg) + (1.8 x ht in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
- Activity Factors x BEE: Restricted 1.1 ; Sedentary 1.2; Aerobic 3x/wk 1.3, 5x/wk 1.5, 7x/wk 1.6; True Athlete 1.7
Remember, you may need more or less calories each day than calculated from the chart above. Because you are rowing and/or working out 5 days per week, you may need to add an additional 200-500+ calories per day.
Remember, you may need more or less calories each day than calculated from the chart above. Because you are rowing and/or working out 5 days per week, you may need to add an additional 200-500+ calories per day. To estimate the number of calories you are eating each day, look for the calorie per serving information on the Nutrition Facts Panel (http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=10935) on packaged foods or check out a site like www.calorieking.com. Although I’m not a big fan of frequently checking the scale, weight gain or loss is a good indicator of the appropriateness of your calorie intake.
Choosing healthy foods for most of your calories will ensure that you get the other nutrients you need to compete at your best. Active teens usually require enough calories during the day that they can afford to eat some “junk food” and not suffer the consequences of gaining excess weight. Adults, unfortunately, may not be able to afford that luxury. For a 2,000 calorie sample menu for 7 days, go to http://www.choosemyplate.gov/healthy-eating-tips/sample-menus-recipes.html.
In future columns, we’ll talk about carbohydrate, protein, and fluid needs during the competitive season.