Food is fuel. Fuel is essential for performance. Victories, championships, and college scholarships are tied to peak performance. Proper nutrition is about balance, discipline and, to an extent, common sense. It does not exclude all things palatable, and in fact, can be straight up delicious. With the fall school sports season approaching, the time is right for a refresher on some of the basics for fueling young athletes.
STAY ON SCHEDULE
Pressed for time or simply not hungry? You think: ‘oh well, that snack at lunchtime will suffice until dinner’. Not a chance! Make time for a sensible, ample breakfast — ditto for lunch.
An athlete’s body requires fuel. Three well-rounded meals are not merely recommended — they are a vital part of a young athlete’s routine. Cutting corners throughout the day and relying on eating a heavy meal at dinner time isn’t a sound strategy for elite performance and the results on gameday will reflect such neglect. For on-the-move athletes, have a snack at the ready: tuck away some nuts, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, beef jerky or some fresh fruit.
The under-hydrated body is unable to work at peak efficiency. Listen to your body. Drink when you’re thirsty. Sip water throughout the day.
At practice or during games, coaches are encouraged to provide repeated water breaks so that athletes can hydrate gradually rather than gulp excessively during short, infrequent pauses. For periods of continuous activity up to one hour, water will do just fine. For continuous activity that exceeds one hour or performed in extreme heat, sports drinks are more appropriate.
Ideally, an athlete should eat a pre-game meal at least an hour or two prior to engaging in physical activity. The body requires time to digest what has been consumed, and digesting your food during competition can hinder performance and slow an athlete down.
Pay attention to what’s on your plate. Quality protein is key, along with a complex carbohydrate for easy digestion. Sweat tastes salty because perspiration contains sodium. Replenishing lost sodium is easy by drinking low-calorie, electrolyte-rich beverages. Profile PERFORM Activate is a nutritious, delicious and safe pre-intra workout drink that contains the essential nutrients an athlete’s body needs in this instance.
The spent body is in need of refueling as it attempts to rebuild and repair muscles. It is important that an athlete begins refueling in the first 30 minutes after activity.
A quick and easy option for the young athlete is Profile Perform Restore, a high-quality restorative powdered protein that can be added to smoothies or simply mixed with water or milk for a nutritious, delicious, and safe recovery. The best part about refueling with Restore? Parents can rest easy knowing their young star is still fueling with food. Yes, Profile PERFORM is not a supplement – it’s food, and our nutrition label will prove it. No hidden ingredients, no nonsense – just great nutrition.
If you’re a young athlete yourself, a parent, coach or super fan — here’s the takeaways you’ll want to remember for the season ahead:
• Two hours before activity: 16 ounces
• 15 minutes before activity: 8-16 ounces
• During activity: 6-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes
• After activity: 24 ounces per pound of weight loss*
*Check weight before and after practices and games
• Stock up on healthy foods
• Small meals and snacks throughout the day
• Challenge yourself to try new and different foods
• Include plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, as well as a variety of fats
• Emphasize whole grains
• Have protein sources planned and accessible
• Daily protein goal should be 1 gram per pound of body weight (170-pound individual takes in 170 grams of protein daily)
• Incorporate protein into all meals and snacks
• Vary protein sources. Options include almonds, pistachios, quinoa, peanut butter, almond butter and Greek yogurt
• After workouts, aim to have 20 to 25 grams of protein along with carbohydrates to optimally refuel tired muscles. Profile Perform Restore Chocolate or Vanilla is an easy and tasty way to make this happen.