Input Controls Output… Six Great Foods for Athletes – Part 1

By Doug Corbett (NASM, FMS, NS, PES, Fitness Nutrition Coach)

Input Controls Output TopToday I am going to post another article on nutrition prepared by Doug Corbett (NASM, FMS, NS, PES, Fitness Nutrition Coach) for our athletes.  We often get so many questions about nutrition and what athletes should or shouldn’t eat.  Here in Part 1 of this article, Doug lays out three great foods for athletes.

People always want to know what the best is for themselves and for their children.  What’s the best school, the safest car, the best restaurant, the best place to work-out, etc.  In an age with so many options, we need to narrow it down to the best and essential.  When it comes to food choices, it’s no different.  There are 1,000s of options of foods to eat when you go to a grocery store. Truthfully, there are actually a few dozen foods we should be eating and the rest have no place in our diets, ever.  This is especially true if you’re serious about gaining muscle.  So, let’s narrow it down even more and go over six great foods athletes should eat, in no particular order.  In Part 1 of this two Part article I will review the first three….

1. Quinoa

Quinoa 1Quinoa is a powerful carbohydrate that you might not be eating, but should, a few times a week with dinner or as a part of your lunch. Unlike other carbohydrate sources such as potatoes and rice, it is high in both fiber and protein.  Two essential macro nutrients your body needs to digest food and to build muscle.  One cup of cooked quinoa provides 5 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein.  Other essentials that are provided by eating quinoa are the amount of manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium.

2. Organic Jasmine Rice

Organic Jasmine RiceA great carbohydrate source to add to your diet is organic jasmine rice.  Yes, this is a white rice but it should not be vilified because it is a white carbohydrate.  People who recommend brown rice over white do so because they claim brown rice is a whole grain and whole grains are good for you.  The problem is these whole grains are locked up by the brown rice’s phytic acid which means you never get any whole grain benefit from the brown rice.  Jasmine rice is an effective way to get tons of carbohydrates in to fuel your muscle and body to grow in the off-season.  A great way to eat jasmine rice is to make guacamole rice.  This not only tastes great, but you get the added benefits of more calories and healthy fats from the avocados, another food you should be eating on a daily or every other day basis.  How you make guacamole rice is incredible simple.  While your jasmine rice is cooking, make your favorite guacamole recipe.  Once the rice is done and cooked a little, mix the guacamole in and you have guacamole rice.  Amazing, right?

3. Nuts and Nut Butters

Nut Butters

Nuts and nut butters should become one of your best friends especially if you’re trying to gain weight in the off-season.  But, everyone should eat them on a daily basis as long as you’re not allergic.  The only difference would be how many nuts a day you actually eat.  An athlete looking to gain 20 pounds in the off-season will eat a substantial amount more than a women trying to lose 20 pounds, but both should eat them as long as you’re not allergic.

Sun ButterIf you are allergic, like I am, there is a fantastic company called SunButter ( that provides sunflower butter that I buy in 5 lbs. tubs from Amazon.  The facility is nut free and I use this instead of nuts for my bars and just eating it by the tablespoon.  However, if you’re fortunate and not allergic, nuts are high in fat, protein, and calories and the best part is several TBSP of peanut butter provides so many calories and doesn’t take long to eat at all.  It’s a perfect solution for when you’re crunched for time.  Try making oatmeal and adding peanut butter to it in the mornings.

Foods not to EatWhat is just as important as knowing the best foods to eat are what not to eat.  All the processed foods out there full of trans-fat, sugar, nitrates, and chemicals do nothing but wreak havoc on our bodies.  They leave us feeling tired, unfocused, slow, and weak, all the things you don’t want in a high performance athlete.  The best athlete’s I have worked with and who have exceled the most are very, very serious about what they put into their bodies.  Remember, input controls output.  If you want to be faster and stronger and bigger don’t expect miracles if 80% of your diet is from low quality food source, fast food, sodas, and chips.

Please stay tunes for Part 2 where I will uncover three additional great foods for athletes.