It’s that time of year, school is back in session and for our athletes, that means a new season has begun or you’re training for your upcoming season. Nutrition plays a key role in your performance and what you choose to fuel your body with contributes to the results of your performance. Here are four basic nutrition tips that can help keep you focused and energized throughout the day and help you perform at peak levels during training or competition.
Eat a BIG Breakfast
You hear it all the time, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, you heard right, skipping breakfast can have negative effects on your athletic performance. Eating a big, healthy breakfast jump starts your metabolism and sets the tone for the rest of the day. You will feel more energized and get that boost you need to tackle the day and that important game or practice. Upon waking your blood sugar is low and will be easily spiked by anything you eat. To control that blood sugar spike and sustain your energy, choose a breakfast with a healthy combination of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. A couple examples would be:
- Eggs topped with avocado and a side of strawberries
- Protein shake made with all natural protein powder and a scoop of almond butter, a handful of berries, and a handful of spinach or kale
Never Skip Meals
Skipping meals causes your blood sugar to drop, leaving your body’s glucose levels too low to provide you with the energy you need to concentrate in school or perform during that after school practice or game. Keep your body fueled all day by eating balanced meals and snacks such as:
- An apple with almond butter
- Good trail mix made of dried fruit (no added sugars or sweeteners), nuts and seeds for a snack
- Turkey burger (without the bun) topped with avocado and a side of fruit
- Fish, sweet potato and veggies
Staying hydrated is very important, especially in AZ! Poor hydration habits will keep you from performing at your highest possible level and even worse, put you at risk for dehydration. You should be drinking 2/3 your body weight, in ounces, of water throughout the day. We recommend you increase your water consumption on days you have training or a big game. Always rehydrate during your training or game and especially after to make up for lost fluids due to sweating.
Always Plan Ahead
With school, training, practices, games, and homework it’s easy to take the fast route and grab unhealthy snacks and meals throughout the day. Plan ahead, make Sunday a day to prepare for the week by putting together meals and snacks that are easily accessible (grab and go). At night, arrange everything so you are fully prepared for the next day, that way you won’t have to grab those quick unhealthy snacks or meals that deplete your energy and negatively affect your performance.
How We Help
If you need assistance with nutrition, The Athlete Project provides nutrition coaching and meal planning. Please visit www.tapathlete.com for packages and pricing or call 480.686.2045.