As a young athlete, you are probably no stranger to heading to a practice or even a game on an empty stomach that continues to constantly growl at you. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make. Regardless of the sport you play, proper nutrition on game day is key to stellar performance. So, as you need a game plan for your sport, you also need a game plan for your nutrition on these important days. To help ensure you are at your best, here are four nutrition tips to follow:
Don't Skip Breakfast or Lunch.
You've always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You may not have ever believed it, but it is what gives your body fuel for the day. On game day, make sure your breakfast is packed with carbs and protein. A good source of carbs would be whole wheat bread, while protein can be found in eggs or milk. So, fix yourself an egg sandwich or a smoothie with fresh fruit. At lunch, it is important that you don't skip eating or that you focus on a light lunch. Instead, you need to focus on as many food groups as possible, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains as well as low-fat dairy. Keep in mind that eating a light lunch will only lead you to an empty tank when you start to play, which won't help your performance.
Focus on Carbs and Protein Throughout the Day
From breakfast to a light snack before game time, it is crucial that you focus on carbs and protein both. Carbs, such as those found in whole wheat bread, cereal, crackers and pasta will give you the energy that your body needs to perform at your best. Proteins, such as eggs and deli meat, are good for your muscles. Protein will help your muscles stay strong and recover from intense physical activity. Over time, protein can even help you build more muscle.
Stay Hydrated All Day
If you're looking for the key to poor performance, it is dehydration. Therefore, you need to remain hydrated throughout the day by consuming lots of water. This is especially important in the few hours leading up to game time, during the day and immediately after the game.
Avoid Fatty, Greasy Foods
While a greasy pizza and a fat-filled dessert may sound extremely appetizing, it isn't going to do you in favors when you start practicing or playing. Fatty, greasy foods slow your body's ability to digest, which can potentially leave you feeling sluggish and tired.
For more information, talk to a professional like Kids First Pediatrics Of Fayetteville.