DO YOU HAVE AN ATHLETE IN YOUR HOUSE?
Although it was -11 degrees this morning here in New Hampshire, SPRING SPORTS are just around the corner. Lately, I have been spending quite a bit of time working with young athletes helping educate them on the importance of a healthy diet in regard to their performance on the field, diamond and track.
Rather than placing the emphasis on weight loss or gain, I stress the importance of Performance Based NutritionP – Identifying the foods that help you to feel your best and also help decrease recovery time after a hard workout or competition. It is never too early to start developing healthy eating habits.
WHAT YOU EAT IMPACTS HOW YOU PLAY
Snacks are key in helping athletes make it from lunch until dinner. Practicing on an empty stomach can lead to poor performance, lack of energy, headaches, and lack of focus. I remind the athletes I work with that the one thing they have control over is what they eat.
This can make all the difference and can give them the COMPETITIVE EDGE over the other kids!
Pre-practice/game fuel should be a combination of protein linked with easily digested carbohydrates and minimal fat and fiber. Too much fat will slow you down and fiber can lead to cramping.
Greek Yogurt and a handful of almonds
Fruit and string cheese
Trail mix (nuts, dried fruit, cereal)
Peanut butter crackers or ½ a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Fig/fruit Newton cookies (very easy to digest)
Animal or graham crackers and chocolate milk
Mini bagels with cream cheese
(especially helpful during the summer due to the sodium content)
Hard boiled eggs
Turkey and Cheese Roll-ups
Granola bar or sports bar – Check the label and avoid versions with artificial sugars or sugar alcohols (these can lead to gas and cramping)
Drink water ALL DAY! Try to get in at least 4 bottles of water before you hit the field!
Muscle Recovery Tip
Your muscles are most receptive to re-fueling for 90 minutes after you finish working out. Consuming a healthy snack during this window of time will decrease recovery time and lessen muscle soreness the nest day.
FEED YOUR MUSCLES AND THEY WILL GROW!
Good luck on the fields! Noreen Gallo RD
(Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss Sports Nutrition with an individual athlete or team)