By Tavis Piattoly, MS, RD, LDN The Taylor Hooton Foundation Education Program Manager and Sports Dietitian
In some cases, our youth take extreme measures when trying to obtain the so-called “perfect body” or make an athletic team. It is important that we reinforce the right way to obtain these goals- eating right and properly exercising. What are some of the most effective and safest ways to obtain a lean and healthy physique without turning to potentially harmful appearance and performance enhancing substances?
1) Lift Weights (Strength Training) – you can’t build muscle without a catalyst. The key to getting lean and strong is participating in a consistent strength training program. Ditch the excess cardio and focus on lifting weights 3-5 days per week.
2) Adequate Calories and Protein – the two most important nutrition rules when trying to build muscle is to eat adequate calories while meeting your protein needs. Skipping meals or not eating enough will make it very difficult for you to build muscle, especially when combined with a strength training program. Focus on eating every 3-4 hours while shooting for a least .8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (i.e. 200 lbs = 160-200 grams of protein per day)
3) Adequate Sleep – to maximize the body’s natural production of anabolic hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone, sufficient rest is critical. Shoot for 8 hours of rest per night to allow the body to fully recover.
The Taylor Hooton Foundation is here to provide further education on these issues and inspire students to achieve their goals all on their own! Our ALL ME® Assembly programs focus on 1) the dangers of appearance and performance enhancing substances, and 2) the importance of nutrition and dietary supplement safety.
To inquire about scheduling one of our education programs for your students, staff or parents, please visit www.taylorhooton.org or connect with us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.