Back To School Sports Nutrition Tips
Three fundamentals to follow in endurance and strength-focused sports are to stay hydrated, fuel up your muscles, and aim for a healthy recovery. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:
Plan It Out
Planning an exercise routine or game schedule are important but what about your meals? The last thing you want is to experience fatigue or dizziness, grab fast food high in fat and drink a protein shake that doesn’t contain all the proper balance your body needs. Plan ahead by purchasing a journal, an online document, or buying a white board that will allow you the space to plan your meals, snacks, and goals to help you build your ideal roadmap to success. If you’re tech savvy, there’s even apps for this!
Fluid and electrolyte balance are critical to prevent dehydration because of the amount of sweat that is lost, especially during hot summer days. The current recommendations are:
- pre-game hydration, drink 5-10 milliliters of water per pound of body weight
- during the game, replenish with water and electrolytes every 15-20 minutes
- post-game hydration, replace fluids lost with 16-24 ounces of water for every pound lost during exercise and drink a beverage rich in electrolytes, such as coconut water.
Eat It Ip
Think of your meals like fueling a car. If you don’t put gas in the tank your car won’t run efficiently, or at all. Much like the car analogy, our bodies need fuel in order to simply exist as well as perform at a higher level. It is recommended that meals are eaten 4 hours prior to playing and snacks about 30 minutes to 1 hour before. Snacks are generally focused on moderate carbohydrates and low protein and fiber during exercise, particularly for endurance-focused sports. For strength training, snacks higher in quality carbohydrates are important due to continuous bouts of energy being used. A snack within 30 minutes after a game or exercise and a meal within 2 hours are optimum times for the body to restore stored glucose and repair and grow new muscle. With these guidelines in mind we suggest staying flexible as you are unique. You will find that you may perform better outside of the suggested windows as well as amounts. You know your body best! Simple endurance and strength-focused snack examples include granola bars low in sugar, crackers low in fat, fruit, and dry whole grain cereal.
Break A Leg
No, not literally! However, getting injured is not fun and you would hope for a fast recovery. Eating a balanced diet can help aid in a faster recovery! Focus on quality protein like fish and lean meats, foods rich in vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, whole wheat and whole grain carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats.