Is anyone else feeling like we’re creeping closer to autumn? The cooler weather lately in PA has been making me crave long runs on crunchy leaves and cross country!
Are you ready for your fall sport to start?
You may have put in all the training that coach sent out this summer but don’t forget that your day to day nutrition can be the difference between a good athlete and an excellent athlete. You don’t want to be the one to show up to practice worn out and verging on injury.
Here are a few tips to help keep you energized in your training:
- Even as the weather cools, hydration is still key. There are ways to calculate and estimate your fluid needs but suffice to say, the color of your urine can be helpful in gauging your hydration. If you are urinating pale yellow, you are drinking enough; a little darker and you may want to up the fluids.
- Breakfast. Because if you’re missing breakfast, you’re missing a third to a sixth of your nutrition already. Include wholesome foods like yogurt, fruit, and whole grain muffins with walnuts and dried cranberries. Bonus points if you can include veggies in your breakfast!
- Carbohydrates are the primary fuel of the athlete but that doesn’t mean we need to load up on white pasta and breadsticks. Include high quality carbohydrate like fruits, quinoa, brown rice, milk, and yogurt throughout the day. Your muscles will thank you.
- Plan ahead for your post-practice nutrition. If you won’t get to eat a meal within the first hour after your workout, pack a whole-food snack, bar, or shake that includes carbohydrate and protein. If you want to be really prepared, throw a few options into the gym bag, locker, or car (along with extra water bottles) so you will never be caught off guard without some recovery food.
- Plan to get enough sleep. I know this isn’t directly food related but research shows we make better food choices when we are well rested AND our hormones which impact our hunger and fullness cues are thrown off when we aren’t sleeping well.
Can’t wait to see you all out there on the field, course, or court basking in the glory of your well-fueled sport!