Fruit in Your Sports Nutrition Plan

Fruit has an important role in your sports nutrition plan for performance and lifetime fitness.

  • Are all fruits whole foods?

  • Fresh sources are the ultimate choice, offering carbohydrates, fiber, nutrients and water. Include the peelings, making sure to wash them first. Dried choices have concentrated nutrition without the water. Frozen choices and canned choices are a nice alternative when many choices are out of season, but may lack the fiber if peelings are removed. Juice is not a whole food, but can provide the carbs, nutrients and water, minus the fiber.

  • Am I eating enough of this fuel in my sports nutrition plan?

  • At least two (2) cups everyday are recommended, but active women needing extra calories may benefit from more whole choices everyday.

  • What is a serving size?

  • 1 small piece of fresh fruit, ¼ cup dried, ½ cup frozen or canned, ½ cup 100% juice. More specifically, about 15 grams of carbohydrate equals a serving.

  • Will organic choices give me an edge?

  • Organic foods are grown without pesticides and fertilizers, so you get to skip that garbage. The term organic does not necessarily guarantee higher nutrition in the food. Overall, organics are a fine idea if available and affordable, but they might not give you any immediate performance advantage.

  • How will fruit impact my training?

  • The carbs in are plentiful and convenient to carry with you for snacks. The fiber content should be monitored for tolerance around training and performance time. Vitamin C and other antioxidants from fruit are valuable in cell protection and tissue recovery. The potassium is needed for fluid balance, nerve and muscle function, and efficient use of carbs for energy. The high fructose level of juice may slow down absorption of water and is very low is sodium, so pure juice is not be the best for hydration.

  • How will this fuel choice impact my lifetime fitness?

  • These carbs are an excellent source of dietary fiber. A woman needs about 25 grams of fiber a day. Certain fibers aid in digestion, while others help regulate blood cholesterol and blood sugars. Slowly increase your fiber intake over time so your body can adjust to all the benefits without the gassy side-effects. These fuel choices are rich in phytonutrients (plant nutrients) which have been linked to many physical body benefits, including immunity boosters. Choose a variety of colors for a great mix of these phytonutrients.

    Set sports nutrition goals related to fruit. Try adjusting the quality, the daily servings or the serving size, and use this fuel to satisfy that sweet tooth!

    Return to whole foods in sports nutrition.