PERFECT 10.0 Tips

to Keep Your Optional Healthy This Season

By Brandi Smith-Young, PT

Perfect 10.0 Physical Therapy

DRUM ROLL PLEASE……….. The NUMBER 1 for Perfect 10.0’s Top 10 Tips to Keep Your Optional Healthy This Season is….

Nutrition is the key to building a healthy athlete. The old sane “You are what you eat” is 100% true!! Every cell in your body is made from amino acids found in healthy protein sources. The lining of your gut and your nerves require healthy good fats and cholesterol to remain in a healthy state which is important to allow for optimal nutrient absorption and allow the nerves to be supple to allow the body to get in extreme positions required for gymnastics.

Food is FUEL and if you are not FUELING up then
your running on empty! !

When you are running on empty the body does not build new muscle, repair from the rigors of training, allow nutrients to be absorbed, restore the energy stores needed to train or allow the tissues to be supple and move through the ranges of motion required to do gymnastics.

Below is a very basic guide to determining nutrition needs, things to make sure to eat, and things to avoid.





Things to EAT a diet rich in:

  • Nutritiously dense foods,
  • Protein 100-150 grams per day,
  • Good Fats (saturated) Omega 3 and Omega 9 (fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon), avocados, olives, chia seed, flax seed),
  • Carbohydrates especially pre workouts,
  • Antioxidants (berries, spinach, sweet potatoes, pineapples, avocados, black beans, almonds, walnuts, chia seed, flax seed, oats, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, dark chocolate)

Things to Avoid:

  • Processed or genetically modified foods,
  • Hydrogenated fat,
  • Minimal sugar[less than 100 g per day for females, less than 150 g per day for males (get from fruits, not refined or processed sugars)],
  • Sodas and other caffeine

Yes there is an app for that!!***
The Loose It! App is a FREE app on the iPhone and droid. It offers a calorie intake based on the profile you put in, however for athletes it under estimates, so take the formula above and in the settings enter the calories you calculated. From there you can enter food you eat for the day search by food, by scanning the bar code on the package, the brand, or even looking up the restaurant. It will help you track your calorie intake, carbohydrate, fat, and protein intake. You can set the settings to track you sugar or sodium and other values. You can enter the amount of exercise you do for the day and it will subtract that from the total daily calories. In the settings you can set your goals to loose weight or to maintain, which for most athletes the goal will be to maintain a healthy body weight.






Use the app to learn food portion sizes. To figure out just what you are taking in at a sit down restaurants verses fast food restaurants. To learn what healthier choices are at restaurants and fast food places. You will likely find that many of your athletes are falling in the red, not meeting their goal calories, protein or fat intake. This is where looking at nutritiously dense foods can help you get the biggest bang for your buck. Example; eat salmon and a salad at a restaurant or a crab salad and get a good high dose of protein and good fats (omega 3). Eat a snack with apple and 2 tablespoons of almond butter. This is a great source of carbohydrates, fat and protein. Look at snacks as small meals and make sure to get in fat, protein, and carbohydrates in every snack. Eat 6 small meals a day.

Ever since being a gymnast I have had a huge sweet tooth. This is my secret to how I have curbed my sweet tooth.

For desert:

  • mix 1-tablespoon raw coconut oil with
  • 2-tablespoons of organic almond or cashew butter
  • throw a small handful of dried cranberries or cherries or dark chocolate chips on top.

This is a great source of good fat and protein. Good fats and protein help to heal the adrenal system, which is taxed heavily with the stringent schedule and intensity of training as a competitive gymnast.



WARNING:*** Be cautious using this app unguided with athletes you suspect have an eating disorder. Those athletes need to see a nutritionist and possibly a psychologist in tougher cases. If you are in Texas I have a few I work with, just contact me for their names and contact info.

Parts of the information came from Dr. Ruthie Harper at

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