Monday, September 27, 2010

Tip of the week by Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark – No Sweets? - No Way!

Some players love their sweets and treats, and others feel that a good soccer or sports diets means no sweets whatsoever. The truth is a good sports diet can include a reasonable amount of treats. Below is some advice on how to balance sweets and treats in your sports diet. The information is taken from Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes From the Pros by Nancy Clark RD and Gloria Averbuch.

Although nutritionists recommend eating a wholesome diet based on grains, fruits, and vegetables, some soccer athletes eat a diet with too many sweets and treats. If you have a junk-food diet, you may be able to easily correct this imbalance by eating more wholesome foods before you get too hungry. Athletes who get too hungry (or who avoid carbohydrates) tend to refuel with too many sugary, fatty foods (such as apple pie, instead of apples).

A simple solution to the junk-food diet is to prevent hunger by eating heartier portions of wholesome foods at meals. And once you replace sweets with more wholesome choices (including whole grain carbs), your craving for sweets will diminish.

Take note: You need not eat a "perfect diet" (no fats, no sugar) to have a good diet. Nothing is nutritionally wrong with having something sweet, such as a cookie, for dessert after having eaten a sandwich, milk, and fruit for lunch. But a lot is wrong with eating cookies for lunch and skipping the sandwich. That's when both nutrition and performance problems arise.

The key to balancing fats and sugars appropriately in your diet is to abide the following guidelines:
• 10% of your calories can appropriately come from refined sugar.
(about 200-300 calories from sugar per day for most soccer players)
• 25% of your calories can appropriately come from (preferably
healthful) fat. (about 450-750 calories from fat per day, or roughly 50-85 grams of fat per day)

Hence, moderate amounts of chips, cookies, and ice cream can fit into an overall healthful food plan, if desired.

Need Some Help Shaping Up Your Diet?

If you want personalized dietary advice, Nancy Clark recommends you seek professional advice from a registered dietitian (RD) who specializes in sports nutrition and, ideally, is Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). To find a sports nutritionist in your area, use the referral networks at the American Dietetic Association's website ( or the website of ADA's practice group of sports dietitians ( Or try googling "sports nutritionist, your city." You'll be glad you did! This personal nutrition coach can help you win with good nutrition. Better yet, consider doing this on a teamwide basis, and get group nutrition analysis and education.

Excerpted from Food Guide for Soccer-Tips and Recipes From the Pros, with Women's Professional Soccer, by Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, RD. Available on or

Gloria Averbuch/Sky Blue FC
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
Phone: 732-271-7700 x307 | Cell: 973-449-8880 Fax: 732-271-7735
80 Cottontail Lane | Suite 400 | Somerset, NJ 08873

Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD
Sports Nutrition Services LLC (books, handouts, CEUs)
Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 4th Edition
Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros
Healthworks, 1300 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill MA 02467
Phone:  617.795.1875
"Helping active people win with good nutrition."


  1. Pretty difficult to maintain. Realize that weight training can only take you so far.

    sports nutrition

  2. Thanks for your insights. I believe a good sports diet is more efficient, cheaper and healthier than most supplements. However I don't reject the ideia of taking some ergogenic substances (such as creatine and caffeine) to enhance performance AFTER achieving a good sports diet.

    Diogo Ferreira

  3. Oops. I like sweets. You have to maintain proper nutrition levels before they consume these sports nutrition supplements.

    sports nutrition

  4. I got keep myself away. Proteins are what your muscles are made up of, and not getting enough can hamper your muscle building attempts.

    sports nutrition

  5. I'm afraid that's a nonsense statement Mr."supplement canada". Muscles are indeed made of 30% Protein (70% for water), but without energy (primarly given by carbohydrates) you cannot recover and/or build muscle mass. Imagine you have to build a wall made of bricks: you surely need the bricks, but without someone to place them together with cement how can you expect to build the wall??

    Besides, studies of nitrogen balance indicate that trained athletes need at most 1,7g/kg/day of protein, which is very easily achieved with normal diet.

    All the best,
    Diogo Ferreira

  6. New Diet Taps into Pioneering Idea to Help Dieters Get Rid Of 20 Pounds within Just 21 Days!