- Use MyPlate to guide food choices
- During Activity: hydrate, keep foods light
- Drink to replace losses—your thirst is a pretty good guide
- Sports drinks may be useful for activities longer than 1 hour
- You may want solid foods for activities longer than 3 hours—choose foods you know you tolerate well during activity
- Recovery: the sooner the better
- Drink to replace fluids lost
- Eat a balanced snack shortly after activity to maximize your recovery
- Supplements: a roll of the dice
- Safety a concern—supplements are not carefully regulated
- Most are lacking scientific evidence of claims
- Train your stomach too!
- Competition day is not the time to try new foods!
Fast Food or Bust!!
- Broiled/grilled, not fried/breaded
- Whole grain buns/tortillas/bread
- Side salads/chili, not French fries/onion rings
- Broth based soups, not cream based
- More veggies, please!
- Hold the dressing (or choose light / reduced fat)
- Keep your super size to a minimum!
- Drinks: water, iced tea, milk / chocolate milk, not soda!
- Mexican Food: whole grain tortillas, grilled veggies, grilled chicken
Grocery Store Run
- Vegetables (pre-sliced)
- Whole grain bagels / bread with sandwich fixings
- Pre-made salads
- Peanut butter / honey
- Health bars / Power Bars
- Sting cheese
- Trail mixes
- Individual cereals / oatmeal
- Drinks: water, sports drinks, milk / chocolate milk, 100% fruit juices
- Trail mixes with nuts
- Power Bars
- Fruit: bananas, apples (wash before eating)
- Dairy products in refrigerated section (yogurt /cottage cheese)
- Jerky options
- String cheese
- Whole grain crackers
- Drinks: Water, milk / chocolate milk, 100% fruit juices , Gatorade / PowerAde if needed
Fueling Before Practice
Teenage athletes need enough calories to maintain their growth and an additional amount to accommodate their working muscles. Spreading meals throughout the day is a good way to get the fuel teens need.
Plan meals around carbohydrates and protein. Good food choices include:
- Peanut butter and whole-grain bread.
- Sliced turkey in a whole-wheat pita.
- Whole-wheat pasta topped with baked chicken.
- Scrambled eggs and whole-wheat toast.
- Sliced apple and peanut butter.
- Trail mix with dried prunes, raisins, almonds, cashews, and peanuts.
- Granola bar and apple, banana, or orange.
- Whole grain crackers, chopped broccoli and cauliflower, and hummus.
- Shredded carrots, raisins, granola, and low-fat yogurt.
- Oatmeal with blueberries, strawberries, and almonds.
- Peanutty energy bars (recipe provided) and banana, orange, or apple.
Add fruits, vegetables and dairy foods to all meals and snacks to round out the nutritional benefits and training needs.
Visit eatright.org for more information.
Fueling After Practice
Post-Practice or Afternoon Game Snack
The hours after practice or a weekday competition may necessitate snacking before the family dinner. Make sure to have pre-prepared snacks ready when you arrive home hungry from a tough after-school practice or game. This can include cut-up fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and smoothies (recipes provided). Make sure you eat within 1 hour after a workout.
Post-Game Family Dinner
For a tasty and filling post-game family dinner, include baked or broiled lean cuts of meat such as chicken breast, lean beef, wild game, salmon or tuna. Include whole grains, for example, whole-wheat pasta with a low-fat tomato or cheese sauce. Toss in vegetables or include a side green salad.
Complete your meal with fruit for dessert, such as baked apples or pears accompanied by a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk. Or create an instant yogurt parfait with layers of low-fat vanilla yogurt, fresh, frozen or canned fruit, and crunchy whole-grain cereal.
Include all five food groups — protein, grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy for the nutrients you need for energy throughout the day.
Visit eatright.org for more information.
Most Americans regularly take one or more dietary supplements. In fact, we spend over $30 Billion annually on these products—many of them untested and unproven, and some unsafe! The following tips will help you to make informed decisions about your supplement use:
Is it safe? Is it effective?
Supplements are not tested for safety or effectiveness before being sold. ‘Natural’ does not mean safe. Do your research before taking any dietary supplement.
Check your source
Government (.gov) or educational institutions (.edu) are usually great sources of unbiased information. Someone who is selling a product or receives money (advertising or other) from a supplement company is not a good source.
Beware of bargain shopping, consider quality/purity
A few 3rd party companies help to certify that products meet purity standards: USP, Consumer Lab, NSF. Bargain supplements can be a gamble—you may be getting less (or MORE!) than you think you are.
Speak with an unbiased health care professional
Depending on the product you’re interested in you may want to talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or a registered dietitian. Many supplements can have adverse effects or negative interactions with other drugs or supplements you might be taking.