Eating To Grow, Food Ratios, And A Good Punch In The Face

Punch In The Face
Be the fist, not the face!

Building on my post from last week where I talked about how to Gain Good Weight, I wanted to tackle a few additional questions to help you on your way.  What should you be eating?  And at what ratios?  How much protein should you consume?  What’s the best ratio of protein-to-carbs-to-fat????  Pressing questions, and I’ll try to provide you with some broad answers to get you going!

Punch In The Face
Be the fist, not the face!

Here is a solid benchmark for in-season diets versus out of season diets.  Please keep in mind, that this is very broad.  I could talk to 100 athletes and give them all different answers based on their individual needs.

Now, here’s the thing, do you know if your caloric intake value is anywhere near it needs to be?  Are you at 3,000 calories… or 4,500?  Are you taking a quality multi-vitamin and fish oil?  If not, find out where you stand (and read the last post!).  The answer is No, you probably aren’t eating enough, so shut up and do your part!

Here is a decent benchmark to start with:

In Season – 40% carbs (90% being quality complex carbs), 30% protein, and 30% fat.

Out Of Season – 40% protein, 30% carbs(90% bein quality complex carbs), 30% fat.

My very general reasoning is that in-season you are weight training less and running more.  In the off-season, you are weight training more and running with less volume.

old school vintage weightlifting dumbells press overhead
Bet this dude used to eat like crazy.

And here’s the BIG thing; this advice is simple, but useless, if you aren’t conistent with your calories over 7 day time periods.  The most disciplined athletes control their caloric intakes and can easily make adjustments to meet their daily/weekly needs.  I’m convinced that this is responsible for holding athletes back more than anything else.  The real “punch in the face” is that this is probably the easiest thing to control as an athlete.

Control what you can control“,  right?  And what’s easier than that controlling what you literally put in your mouf?


  1. Too few of carbs in season and out of season. Carbs are your bodies fuel source. Followed by fat. Protein does not want to be a fuel source, but if it has to then your body will break the amino acids down and send the nitrogen to your urine. 40% is A LOT of protein. Athletes should consume around 1.2 grams of protein for every kg (body weight in lbs/2.2). I can tell when my players do not consume enough carbs out there. I tell all of my athletes to go 50% carbs 30% protein and 20% fat.

    • Your math doesn’t add up. Say you have a 200 lb athlete (or 90.9 kg). If he consumes 1.2 grams/kg – that is approximately 109 g of protein. 4 calories/gram of protein then gives 436 calories from protein. If that is supposed to be 30% of his diet, 436/total calories = 30%. This gives a total calorie intake of a little under 1500 calories per day…probably not going to sustain a 200 lb athlete while training. You guys could argue all day on percentages…but the 1.2 thing is obviously wrong.

  2. Eating less carbs is critical- our bodies are much less adapted to breaking down carbs into energy than other food sources. Carbohydrates are not an ergogenic food, and provide a short term peak of ‘energy,’ but inhibit sustained performance and recovery. A diet higher in protein with a strong balance of vegetables and fruit has four significant benefits over one higher in carbohydrates:
    1. Increased intake of branched chain amino acids (BCAA). Benefits muscle development and anabolic function. Also counteracts immunosuppression common in endurance athletes following extensive exercise.
    2. Decreased omega-6:omega-3 ratio. Reduces tissue inflammation common to athletes while promoting healing.
    3. Alkaline enhancing. Reduces catabolic (breakdown) effect of acidosis on bone and muscle while stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
    4. High in trace nutrients. Trace nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are necessary for long-term recovery from exercise and for health. The most nutrient-dense foods are vegetables and seafood. On average, vegetables have nearly twice the nutrient density of grains.

  3. S&C Coach- Please not that I made a point to say “solid benchmark”. I specifically did not speak in absolutes. FYI, at least have the balls to post your name not S&C Coach. Also, get your numbers right before you break someones else balls. Undergrad is correct. Also the numbers that you are using adjust according to the type of person. 1.2 grams/kg is for a sedentary person(your grandma) not an athlete.
    Dogle- you make some great points that I agree with. I personally have intended to get my metabolic type tested but have been a little behind in training athletes, running my business, and my own training. The advice that I’m giving here is intended to be a “quick tip”, not a very detailed breakdown of micro and macro nutrients. That kind of detail would fall of def ears to 99% of LaxAllstars readers, hence my being VERY general.
    Debate and opinions are good for everyone including this site so keep ’em coming…
    Here’s something to chew on in the interim:
    Fact: Athlete’s do not eat enough period. A competitive high school or collegiate Lax athlete needs at least 3,500 calories in season. Realistically, 4,500. I’m not going to argue about breakdown when they simple aren’t eating enough. Eating 4,500 is a job in itself and there aren’t many athletes that are willing to do that.
    Fact: 90% of athlete’s could not tell you their micro or macro nutrient profile on a daily or weekly basis. The includes professional, collegiate, and Olympic athletes. Some Olympic athletes may have a better understanding when they are living in an elite training center and someone is feeding them AND then telling them what they are eating. Even with free calories counting smart phone apps athletes and regular people don’t want to know what they are eating.

    We can sit here and have a “mine is bigger than yours fight” all day long. Until the athletes actually eat up to their needed caloric requirement to maintain a proper bodyweight, the details are useless. (Noticed that I said maintaining proper bodyweight not maximal performance. A performance conversation is a dream of mine that rarely happens.) Why even have a conversation about creatine when they aren’t taking a good multi vitamin and fish oil AND eating properly? Baby steps then big boy steps.
    I’m a coach that has worked with thousands of athletes and hundreds of “average Joe’s”. I’m not a scientist or internet guru that hasn’t worked with anyone in the real world. So when I tell a kid to walk around school with a loaf of bread and a container of Jiffy having him eat a half sandwich every hour of the day and he gains 20 pounds(because he was starving his body), I’m one happy guy. Is that the best science based meal? Hell no! It was the most convenient, tasty, and calorie dense meal available. It’s easy to convert a kids that just went from 165-185lbs to a legit diet because he now understands the value of calories. He was rewarded for his efforts. He looks and feels better. Little does he know that we are just scratching the surface with not only how good he is going to feel but how well he’ll perform.
    Here’s an interesting thought on empiric verse unique advice. Chocolate milk sucks for post workout. The studies say that it’s better than what??? Gatorade or water? (Once again, an American study that was done on frat boys that do curls and cable crossovers at the Student Rec Center and then do 12oz curls at night. We then want to apply this research to athletes. Note I’m partially joking here) I have recommended chocolate milk to my younger hockey players who play multiple games a day on weekends. Why? A 10-14 year old isn’t going to carry a simple and complex carb along with a whey protein with them to drink after 5-6 games in a weekend. They aren’t going to think ahead and pack. They remember the Ipod before their uniform so where does post game meal fit in on the priority list? Though it annoys me to recommend the chocolate milk, it’s the best and most logical option for them after a game at some rink 6 hours from home.
    My recommendations are very general(but practical) because I’m speaking to a very basic AND broad audience at Lax Allstars.. I read and study books/manuals/studies/dvd’s etc from all over the world. Being a good coach is knowing when and where to apply it.
    If you want serious nutritional advice, look at Dr. John Beradri’s stuff.