With the start of the school year comes the start of soccer, tennis, and other fall sports. Just like training and coaching, what athletes choose to eat and drink are important for their success in athletic endeavors. Knowledge about the importance of food and nutrition also encourages overall healthy eating habits. Here are a few healthy food suggestions :
Before practice or competition Two to four hours before practice or competition is good timing for a snack or meal. Some examples include; a sandwich with lean meat and a piece of fruit, pasta with tomato sauce, a bowl of cereal with milk, and a container of yogurt. And 16 – 20 ounces of fluid (water) within two-hours before exercise.
During practice or competition Young athletes should drink an extra 8 to 12 ounces of fluid for every half hour of strenuous activity. If events or practice last for multiple hours, light carbohydrate snacks, such as fruit or energy bar, with water and a sports drink, will keep energy high.
After practice or competition Energy spent during practice or competition needs to be replaced. It’s best to refuel within 60 minutes after exercise and include both complex carbohydrates and a little bit of protein. Don’t forget water. Examples include: – Sandwich with 3 ounces lean meat,a piece of fruit and a glass of milk – Pasta , a slice of whole grain bread and a glass of milk – Three ounces lean meat with cooked veggies, a serving of potatoes or rice and a glass of milk
What about sports drinks? Sports drinks help regain lost energy especially in kids who participate in prolonged and rigorous physical activities that lasts more than 60 minutes, such as distance running or soccer. Other than that, plain water is the preferred choice. Sports drinks are not necessary for casual exercisers. Caffeinated energy drinks and sugary soft drinks are discouraged. A balanced diet of healthy food like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, plenty of fluids and adequate rest.
While the above article guides you to eating healthier, there is no substitute for customized professional advice given by a qualified nutritionist. We urge you to speak to your personal dietician or if you need help, contact a nutritionist at Qua Nutrition.
You can contact us at 080 3232 9292 or log on to www.quanutrition.com to Book An Appointment.