What Should You Eat Before Practice
Your diet is a huge factor in your performance as an athlete. Eating the wrong foods at bad times could lead to weak performance and quicker fatigue. Eating foods that supply your body with the nutrients it needs before practice makes you feel good and perform better. As a food company, SportsGrub is dedicated to helping athletes fuel their bodies with foods that are not only healthy but help them play their absolute best. Follow along as we go over the best foods for athletes before practice!
Understanding The Mental & Physical Elements of Recovery
For a student athlete, an injury can feel extremely disruptive. Students are aware of the limited amount of time they have as student athletes. Knowing that they will miss a game, multiple games, or even a season are all hard pills to swallow. Many high school and college athletes have reported that the hardest part of recovery is not the physical limitation caused by their injury but the mental fight to stay on top of their mindset throughout the recovery process. It is important that coaches, parents, and other students are aware of the mental element of the recovery process. While it is easy to conceive of step-by-step processes for physical recovery including physical therapy, it is difficult and sometimes overlooked that there need to be steps put in place for mental health as well.
When To Eat Before Practice
When gearing up for practice, ideally, you want to eat at least two hours before it is time to play. Your body typically needs three hours to digest a real meal fully, so avoid a large meal too close to game time. Overeating without proper digestion time can cause cramping and slow you down.
Protein Benefits for Athletic Training
Be aware of the fads telling you to completely load up on protein before your practice. It is vital to get your regular daily protein intake through foods like poultry, eggs, fish, nuts, and peanut butter, but no need to overload on protein. Be sure to have regular serving of good protein with your pre-practice meal.
The Benefits of Carbs for Athletes
Healthy carbohydrates, that is. Healthy carbohydrates are an athlete’s best friend before playing their sport. Carbs are your primary energy source that will last throughout your practice if you eat the right foods. Before practice, consuming carbohydrates, including whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, whole-wheat breads, brown rice, pasta, or potatoes, with your pre-practice meal is best.
Remember, not all carbs are equal! Avoid any sugary carbs that could deplete your energy during practice.
Importance of Vitamins & Minerals
Foods are the best way to get your intake of vitamins and minerals before practice to keep you at your best. Calcium is essential for athletes’ performance and health, keeping your bones strong so you can keep playing. Look for your calcium source in foods like non-fat yogurt, milk, and cheese.
A good amount of iron is also essential for athletic performance as it carries oxygen to your muscles. Foods that will assist in your iron intake include meat, fish, and leafy green vegetables like spinach (Popeye was right!).
Healthy Fats for Athletes
Yes, fats are crucial in maintaining a healthy diet for an athlete, and everyone needs daily fats to live. To add a healthy portion of fats to your pre-practice diet, find unsaturated fats in foods like fish, nuts, seeds, and most vegetable oils. Avoid saturated fats in dairy products like whole milk, butter, and fatty meats.
We all understand the trials and tribulations of handling a well-maintained athlete diet. Whether there is only a little bit of time before practice, it starts super early, or ends late, it is important to know how best to fuel your body before practice.
Learn More About Student Teams From SportsGrub
Here at SportsGrub, we provide meals and catering for student athletes in Massachusetts. We were founded by parents of athletes for parents and coaches because we understood how difficult it was to source food for home and away games. If you are interested in learning more about SportsGrub, give us a call.