A common phrase we often hear is: “I don't have time to eat breakfast, plan meals, or pack snacks for the day. It’s just impossible!” Between school, sports practices, homework, and extracurricular activities, finding time for healthy yet quick options for meals and snacks can be challenging!
It is a well-known fact that your or your child’s nutrition directly affects the performance both on and off the field. Furthermore, proper nutrition also helps prevent illness and injury. Many young athletes do not have a snack before they head out to practice after school, but snacks are an important part of an athlete’s day for various reasons.
If possible, an athlete should aim to have a snack 30 minutes to an hour before practice.
Good nutrition practices and a healthy diet are some of the main keys to success for young athletes. We make the most nutritious snacks for you and your family. Check out Ipanema Valleys healthy snacks!
Wishing everyone a happy, fueled sports season and new year!
WHY ATHLETES SHOULD BE SNACKING
High-level athletes ask a lot from their bodies day-to-day. Proper fueling is essential for an athlete to be able to arrive at each day's workout ready to give 100 percent. A key part of proper fueling is snacking. Read on to find out why athletes should be snacking and score a few healthy snack ideas too.
What and When Should You Eat Before Practice or Competition?
Your body needs a well-balanced meal or high calorie snack 3-4 hours prior to practice or competition to allow for proper digestion. For early morning events, try to eat at least 2 hours beforehand. Since many athletes have practice after school, make sure you bring a small snack to eat 30-60 minutes beforehand for an extra boost of energy.
Some popular snack ideas we recommend for young athletes include:
What Should You Eat After Practice or Competition?
After exercise, your body is like a sponge ready to absorb and replenish nutrients lost during your training session. Ideally, have a snack or meal within 15-60 minutes of completing the activity and if you only have a snack during that time, try to have a meal within 1-2 hours. This might mean a snack after late night practices and games too. If you have a long drive to and from practice, make sure you plan ahead! Make your meal well-balanced with lean protein, grains, vegetables, fruit, and dairy. If you are not able to eat solid food after exercising, try something liquid based like white milk, chocolate milk, or a fruit smoothie made with yogurt. Smoothies have a great balance of carbohydrates to protein, are cost efficient for teams, and portable for easy transport!
Our banana brownies and smoothie bars are a perfect snack.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Sports drinks should be used when exercising longer than 60 minutes, especially for help in fueling during back to back games.
To sum up
Young athletes train long hours for their sport. In order to optimize that training, proper nutrition needs to be a regular component of their workout plan. A car needs fuel to run properly just as people (especially young athletes) need a healthful eating plan.
Meal and snack planning takes extra time and is often pushed to the side due to hectic family schedules, but healthy eating has to be a priority.
The benefits of a healthy eating plan include:
Some quick and easy performance-enhancing snacks: