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Fall is the time to curl up after practice and feed your game some energy packed comfort foods.
Athlete Spoiler Alert: The high fat content that comes in many comfort foods can slow down the digestion of high energy carbohydrates and muscle re-building proteins. Slowing down the digestion of these performance-enhancing nutrients can effect your fuel storage supply for the following days and effect muscle rebuilding and repairing. The high calorie content of some comfort foods can derail strength to weight ratio if consumed in levels above needs.
Four FAST Fall Fueling Tips
Vitamin A Rich Foods: Eat plenty of vitamin A rich foods like pumpkin (pumpkin pie protein smoothie, stuffed pumpkins), squash (roasted butternut squash BACON pasta, butternut squash and black bean enchiladas) or sweet potatoes (roasted sweet potato soup) . Vitamin A helps with keen vision (ie. See the ball coming at you) and Beta-carotene (commonly found in vitamin A rich foods) is an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by substances called free radicals. Free radicals are produced during exercise and are believed to contribute to certain chronic diseases and play a role in the aging process.
Slow Cook Your Protein packed Meals and Snacks: Slow roast or use a crock pot to cook meats and vegetarian proteins ahead of time. Use these tender and flavorful meats and beans to create “mini meals” (small bean burrito, ½ roast pork sandwich), a potentially healthier alternative to a “snack” (chips, cookies, candy).
Fuel Up with Fall Fruits: Fruits like apples, pears, and figs add fiber and energy to your diet. Use them as an easily transported pre-game snack.
Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate: Hydration can be a challenge when colder weather sets in. Don’t forget, always pack a water bottle and drink at least ½ your body weight in ounces of fluid per day. Use sport drink for vigorous practices longer than 90 minutes. In the cooler months, soups can also be a great source of hydration.
Have No Fear, WINforum is Here
Our panel of nutrition experts hand selected their favorite high performance comfort foods for your fall fueling. All are sports nutrition approved and guaranteed to enhance sports performance (or your money back). WINforum on Pinterest has a full lineup of sport-enhancing recipes.
WINforum is a science-based sports nutrition resources for student-athletes, parents, coaches and professionals in the field of athletics.