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Timing your meals and snacks is one of the most important things you can do as an athlete (next to going to practice!). Eating frequently throughout your day is vital to maintaining muscle mass and energy. Packing and planning all this food can take up time and money, so be prepared. Do some prep the night before to be sure you have all the food you need for your long, energy-filled day. Here is a sample eating “game plan” you can follow to be sure you are fueled and ready to WIN!
7:00 am Breakfast: (High in carb and protein, low in fat)
Bagel with eggs (2 eggs including yolks); banana with yogurt; Peanut Butter on waffles with berries; drink milk and water.
9:30 am Water and Snack: (high carb, mod protein, low fat)
Granola bar and fruit; real-fruit roll-up and yogurt; Peanut Butter sandwich with milk; Energy Bar
12 pm Lunch: (High in carb and protein, low in fat)
Sandwich with meat protein and cheese (trade mayo for guacamole or hummus); veggies and fruit; drink milk and water.
2:30 pm Small Snack and Water: (mostly carb)
Energy bar or yogurt with granola
3:30 pm Practice
If you find yourself hungry or fatigued during practice try the following:
1. Use a sports drink or sports chews, as needed (you need 30-60g of carb per hour for exercise)
2. Drink plenty of water (especially before and after practice)
3. Use an energy bar (break off small chunks and eat with water)
6:00 pm POST-exercise snack: (immediately after practice or game)
Yogurt and fruit
Protein smoothie (20 g protein with 60 g carb)
6:00 – 8:00 pm POST-exercise Meal (Keep it low-fat to optimize carb replacement)
Healthy carbs and lean proteins, with a little fat mixed in:
1. Large turkey sandwich with cheese, fruit, cottage cheese and cookie; Water or ice tea w lemonade (mix them) to drink.
2. Grilled chicken burger, green salad, fruit, milk
-Salmon, brown rice, veggie and milk
-Share dessert with a friend if you’re hungry
10:00 pm Snack?
If you are hungry, eat a protein-based snack: cottage cheese and fruit, turkey sandwich or more dinner. Drink water, then SLEEP!!!
Remember that having a nutrition game plan helps you WIN on the road and at home. Following the plan keeps your metabolism high and helps you stay lean! FEED YOUR GAME!
WINforum is a science-based sports nutrition resource for coaches, athletes and parents. Check us out: www.winforum.org