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Nutrition and the Athlete

Softball and other sports activities will begin for children and adults soon. Without the proper fuel and hydration, you will not be able to maintain a high level of performance throughout an entire game.

To fuel your body properly, your day should consist of six fueling times:

  1. Breakfast
  2. Snack
  3. Lunch
  4. Snack before training
  5. Recovery drink/snack post-workout
  6. Dinner

Getting up early enough in the morning to eat breakfast may seem like an impossible task. You need to keep in mind that eating breakfast within one hour of waking is important to ensure you have enough energy for your day and assist you with weight maintenance during your sport season.

You may be wondering what a “snack” consists of or if having snacks truly is necessary. The answer is yes. Many athletes falsely believe snacking is “bad.”

On the contrary, nutrient-dense snacking is vital to keep energy and metabolism steady throughout the day, which, in turn, can help athletes such as you be stronger and increase your performance.

Here are some examples of nutrient-dense snacks at different calorie levels:

  • Low-calorie snacks: fresh fruit, raisins, veggies, pretzels, popcorn
  • Moderate-calorie snacks: fruit with peanut butter, yogurt smoothies, granola bar
  • High-calorie snacks: sandwich, cheese and crackers, veggie omelet

Fueling your body the right way allows you to optimize your training and perform at your full potential for each practice and game, and helps you continue to build muscle instead of break it down for energy.

 

By Alexandra Jones, NDSU Extension Dietetic Intern
Reviewed by Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

Filed under: fca newsletter, fca news

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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