Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Baseball Nutrition...Part III

By Andrew McInroy

Welcome to the third and final installment of Baseball Nutrition. Today you will learn how to build a diet that is specifically for you. Using the dieting principles of today's strongest athletes, you too will learn to design your nutritional intake. Now you don't have to follow anymore fad diets because you can make your own elite diet with the protocol ahead.



This all depends on your goals, your height, your age, your weight, your sex, and most importantly, your metabolism. As athletes, we usually want to eat a diet either higher or lower than our Basal Metabolic Rate in order to either gain or lose weight.

Metabolism plays a huge role in how many calories you are going to be consuming. You can either be an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph.

-Ectomorphs tend to have high metabolisms and therefore burn a lot of energy.
-Mesomorphs tend to have a "good metabolism" in which a lot of nutrients go to muscles.
-Endomorphs tend to have a slower metabolism and a lot of nutrients go to fat.

NOTE: The following recommendations are general and quick formulas that work great. If a calculated calorie structure is not working for you and you are not seeing results, there is a number of variables to take into account. The first step for bulking is to add or subtract 500 calories/day based on fat/muscle gain; if you are gaining too much fat, lower by 500 calories/day, if you are not gaining enough mass, increase by 500/day calories. The same goes with cutting, but with different numbers, if you are not losing any weight, decrease by 250 calories/day. If you are losing too much weight, add 250 calories/day.

BULKING CALORIES: To gain weight and lean muscle mass

This is the process where we eat over the Basal Metabolic Rate (the amount of calories your body burns everyday performing normal, life-sustaining functions) in order to put on weight. In order to calculate the amount of calories that a bodybuilder should consume to bulk we use the formula:

Bulking Calories = (18 or 19 calories) x lbs of bodyweight.

Example: Dave weighs 160 lbs. Calculate his bulking calories.

Bulking Calories = 19 calories x 160
= 3040 calories

Bulking Rules
-let the mirror be the judge of whether or not you are making progress
-even though the mirror is the judge, still use the weight scale as a general judgment; if you are gaining more than 0.5 - 1 lbs a week, then you should probably decrease your calories as the excess weight gain will more than likely come in the form of fat. Certainly you will go through some grow periods where your body can gain more weight than this, but be cautious here.

CUTTING CALORIES: To lose weight

Cutting Calories = (12-13-14 calories) x lbs of bodyweight

Example: Dave weighs 160 lbs. Calculate his cutting calories.

13 x 160 lbs = 2240 calories

Cutting Rules
-the mirror is the judge.
-if you are losing more than 1-2 lbs per week, you may want to increase calories slightly in order to make sure that you are not losing muscle mass too.

Note: I actually cut on 3000 - 4000 calories because I have an extremely fast metabolism. This proves everyone has to use trial and error to determine their specific metabolism. Sure, it takes some work in the beginning, but quickly becomes second nature.


Calories and macronutrients are pretty much equally important when designing a good diet.

Note: This article will not include cutting macronutrients as I think it would be better for users to look into Carbohydrate Cycling (I will be doing an article on this eventually). I used this method and it is complex. Therefore, the following will be for BULKING and adding lots of muscle mass.


This is such a grandiose topic of argument and debate. It never stops. Too much protein can lead to loss of bone calcium which makes weaker bones. Too little protein and well, you're not going anywhere. So the goal is to get a muscle building and safe amount of protein:

I generally recommend: 1 - 1.5 g of protein per lb of body weight.

Example: Dave weighs 160 lbs. How much protein should he consume if wants to add bulk and add mass?

1 x 160 lbs = 160 g of protein

Therefore, Dave will be getting 160 g of protein and 640 calories from protein.

Good protein sources/foods are located at the end of this article.


I generally recommend taking in 20% of your total bulking calories as your fat calories. What do I mean? Observe the equation:

Fat calories = 20% of total bulking calories

Therefore for the equation, we write:

Fat calories = 0.20 x Total Bulking Calories.

Example: Dave weighs 160 lbs. How much fat does he take in?

Total Bulking Calories = 19 calories x 160 lbs = 3040 calories

Fat calories = 0.20 x 3040 calories
= 608 calories

Therefore, Dave will be getting 608 calories from fat or 67.55 g of fat (608 / 9).

Remember, saturated fats are important for testosterone production! Therefore, I recommend that 25% of your fat calories come from saturated fats. Therefore we use the formula:

Saturated fat calories = Total fat calories x 0.25

Using the example above:

Saturated Fat Calories = 608 x 0.25
= 152 calories

Therefore, Dave should be getting 152 calories from saturated fat which is 16.88 g of saturated fat.

What about Cholesterol? Negligible. Just make sure that you are not consuming too many whole eggs as these are high in cholesterol.

What about essential fatty acids? I recommend fish oil pills. I suggest using max 720 mg EPA and 480 mg DHA per day.

Keeping in mind that you want 25% of your fat calories from saturated fats, you can easily pick out some fat sources from my suggestions at the end of this article.

Good fat sources are located at the end of this document


This is the easiest to calculate and it is done last as you will see why according to the equation:

Carbohydrate calories = Total calories - protein calories - fat calories

Example: Dave is 160 lbs. Calculate his carbohydrate calories.

Solution: Using the information above, we just plug in the numbers:

Carbohydrate calories = 3040 calories - 960 calories - 608 calories
= 1472 calories

Therefore, Dave should be consuming 1472 calories from carbohydrates (386 g from carbohydrates)

There will be carbohydrate selections at the end of this article.

What about macronutrient ratios? These are so general and with a few minutes of mathematics, you will realize that they are frustrating and perhaps even useless. I suggest using the method that I have proposed above. The main reason I disagree with them is that people are highly individualized and require different amounts of macronutrients.


Every athlete knows that you should take in at least 1-2 gallons of water (4-8 L) per day. I even went as high as 9 - 11 L of water per day. Have a problem with this? Man up and get a Nalgene bottle and drink it through out the day.


You will want to have 6-8 meals per day. This will help to keep your metabolism up. Think about it this way: you will turn your body into a energy burning factory because it is always "expecting" more energy in the form of food so it always has to be ready and at high burning capability as opposed to three meals a day where it only has to be geared for three meals. Therefore, have 6-8 meals to keep your metabolism up.

Furthermore, this is why we suggest the protein intake rule of 1 - 1.5 g of protein / lb of body weight because you want to stay in positive nitrogen balance or more simply, make sure that your body has a steady source of protein throughout the day. I recommend that each meal contain ~30 g of protein. Any more than this may be wasted, except for post workout. So when designing your meal plan, which is to be customized by you, you will want to spread them out by 2-3 hours of each other to stay in positive nitrogen balance.


This is approximately 1-2 hours before you workout. You will want to consume complex carbohydrates, some fat sources and approximately 30 g of protein along with adequate water.

Work out should be approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to avoid overtraining. With this being said, you are staying within the 2-3 hour range limit that allows you to stay in positive nitrogen balance.


Most advanced bodybuilders use something during this time. A popular choice is BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) and/or EAA (Essential Amino Acids) supplements. However, one thing is ultimately necessary: water. Do not mess around, take your water.


This is the most important time for nutrition: You are done your workout, your muscles are starving, your muscles are pumped up, you are insulin sensitive, and you are ready to uptake nutrients and undergo anabolism. This is also known as the window of opportunity.

AT THIS TIME TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR ANABOLIC ENVIRONMENT. Remember how bad I said simple carbohydrates are? Well your muscle cells are depleted of glycogen and now is the time that they are more insulin sensitive and they can handle the blood glucose spike as uptake of nutrients is highly increased. Basically the idea at post workout nutrition is to get nutrients to the muscle as fast as possible. So, we consume simple sugars that will digest quickly but we will also consume some complex carbohydrates to avoid beating down on the insulin receptors too much. We also consume whey protein as it has a high bioavailability and a superb protein score; it is highly anabolic and digests fast. You can usually take in more protein at this time. My suggestions:

-1 banana or dextrose (20-30 g of simple carbohydrates) (Dextrose = pure glucose, by the way)
-1 - 2 cups of oats
-1.5 - 2 scoops of whey protein.

Why no fats? Your body doesn't want fat right now! It wants glucose to refill its energy stores!


This is the meal that you eat right before you go to bed. People sit there and are wondering about this one, asking, "Doesn't it make you fat?" No, not if you eat the right foods. At night you release a large amount of growth hormone and therefore grow a lot. It is also the time where you are repairing yourself, so you want to provide the necessary nutrients to your body to do this. The goal here is PROVIDE THE BODY WITH SLOW DIGESTING NUTRIENTS TO LAST OVER THE NIGHT. We use foods like cottage cheese which contains casein protein and this digests slowly over 7 hours. Further, we use fat sources as they slow down digestion. We can use all natural peanut butter or raw almonds. A whole egg can also be good. Furthermore, we can use spinach which contains fiber (slows down digestion) and is overall good for you with its phytochemicals and antioxidants. So what I suggest:

-1 cup of spinach
-1 cup of cottage cheese
-1 - 2 TBS of all natural peanut butter
-1 whole egg

I highly suggest usage of the basics:

-Whey protein
-Creatine Monohydrate (Creapure brand)
-Fish Oil (molecularly distilled)
-Joint Formulas (SuperCissus RX)

VEGETABLES AND FRUITS - You definitely want to implement these into your diet as they have many antioxidant properties and are fibrous. The phytochemicals present have numerous benefits. Reducing free radicals with consumption of antioxidants helps you build muscle; the free radicals won't be running around destroying your gains.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS - Trust me, you will not have a problem with your vitamins and minerals if you are eating healthy and are taking a multivitamin (which contains minerals too).


To calculate Bulking calories:

19 x body weight (lbs)

Calculate Protein Intake (g):

1.5 x lbs in body weight

Calculate Fat intake (calories):

Total calories x 0.20

Calculate Carbohydrate intake (calories):

Total calories - fat calories - protein calories


Drink between 1-2 gallons of water per day.
Eat vegetables and fruits.
1.5 g of protein per lb of body weight.
20% of calories are fat calories. 25% of fat calories are saturated fats.
Creatine, Whey, Multivitamin, Fish oil
Include night time nutrition
6-8 meals
mainly complex carbohydrates to the exception of post workout where you can have some simple carbohydrates
30 g of protein per meal except for post workout where you can consume more.
Pick foods from my suggestions
Conclusion to Baseball Nutrition: Thank you for reading all the articles and now you are ready to construct a better diet which will help drive you to the next level in strength, power, endurance, explosiveness, agility and more. In the weight room and out on the baseball field you will have an advantage.

-Egg whites
-Lean Beef
-Whole Eggs
-Whey Protein
-Casein Protein
-Cottage Cheese
-Low fat cheese
-Lean Beef
-Lean Hamburger
-Crab meat
-All other types of fish, pretty much

Note: A large portion of your fats will come from your other foods selected
-Raw Unblanched Almonds
-Almond Butter
-All Natural Peanut Butter
-Whole Eggs
-Fish Oil (Not flaxseed)
-Various other nuts
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-Whole Wheat Pasta
-Whole Wheat Spaghetti
-Whole wheat breads
-Whole Wheat Macaroni
There are so many possibilities that you can use here to make great meals!


So many good ones to choose from, but these are some of the best. General rule; the darker the green, the better.

-blue berries
-black berries
-all types of berries

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