Nutrition For You and Your Athlete – Sports Mom 101
This second installment of Sports Mom 101 is all about nutrition. Stephanie from HappilyHomegrown.com asked for tips on figuring out meals so you don’t live on the concession stand snacks. The best answer to that is to plan ahead. Keep reading for more detail on how to make that plan.
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Plan Ahead For Meals
Eating from the concession stand can be a costly endeavor – on your pocket and your health. Your plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on game day is essential if you don’t want to take those chances. Also, keep in mind, not every place will have a concession stand or food nearby. I always suggest that you bring at least some food of your own.
[bctt tweet=”Don’t go hungry or go broke on the sideline! The Sports Mom 101 series gave me all the nutrition tips I needed for myself and my athlete this summer season.” username=”themomonthemove”]
Eating breakfast on game day is a must. No foods that are super heavy or greasy because they can make your athlete sluggish. If you don’t have much time in the morning on game day you can make a few grab & go breakfast items like the ones I suggest here.
You want to pack foods that keep well, won’t cause spikes in energy, and are easily digestible. For long days at the track, we pack fresh deli meat, cheese, dinner roll buns, snack crackers, fruit or fruit cups, and water. Your athlete will need a little protein for recovery and you don’t want anything that will counter hydration (i.e. no meats high in salt or sodium). You’ll also want to take a few sweet treats or favorite snacks for you and your other littles to
bribe pacify them and satisfy yourself.
A well-balanced, sit down dinner based upon your dietary needs is the best way to wind down and recover from a long day on the sideline – physically and mentally.
Nutrition and Hydration
Hydration may be the most important nutritional aspect of being a Sports Mom. The dangers of heat, humidity, and overexertion are often underestimated. And the popularity of sports and energy drinks have given society the idea that plain old water isn’t as effective. False. It only takes about 20 oz of water and 45 minutes to fully hydrate the body when it’s mildly dehydrated (Thanks, BreakMuscle.com). So, drinking water prior to the match, and then intermittently throughout the day ought to do the trick.
I highly recommend double lined, insulated bottles. They hold their temperature for up 24 hours whether you keep them in the cooler or not.
Hydration for your athlete is a little different, but maybe even more important. If the harsh beaming rays of the sun zap your energy while just sitting still, imagine what it does when running around. Drinking water before the game is important for your athlete, but recovery hydration is more important. Plain water is great to prevent dehydration if you’re not exercising, but after the game, a drink with electrolytes will replenish your athlete’s body more quickly.
Sports drinks are great and work effectively. But I really like coconut water for in between races and post meet hydration. It has natural electrolytes and no added sugar. Don’t like coconut? Try the one with added flavors. Alexandra likes the pineapple flavored option. You can get a multi-flavor 12 pack from Amazon Pantry and try them all.
Nutrition After The Game
Gina from MoneywiseMoms.com asked, “What snacks won’t get poo-pooed by coaches and other parents?” With everything else you have to manage getting your athlete to the game on time, in the right color jersey, at the right field, the last thing you need to stress you out is after game snacks. Those obnoxious sports moms Allison asked about will surely let you know if you’ve done it wrong. The best option is to keep it simple and follow these cardinal rules for what NOT to bring on snack day.
Anything with nuts. Peanut allergy is far too common, it’s not worth taking the risk.
Sodas or artificial juice drinks. If you’re not a fan of sports drinks or don’t want to take a chance on coconut water, 100% juice or plain water is your best bet.
Baked goods, candy, chips, or sugary foods. After your kiddo has poured his heart out on the field you may be tempted to reward his effort with a donut. Carbs are a great source of energy but do not replenish exerted energy very well. Not to mention, you surely don’t want to have to deal with the hyper sugar high or the cranky sugar crash afterward.
Good options are whole fruit, dried fruit or raisins, snack crackers like Goldfish, graham crackers and other low sugar, low sodium foods. My favorite go to are Clif Kids Z Protein Bars. Alexandra’s favorite is the chocolate mint flavor.
Are you enjoying the Sports Mom 101 series? Tell us your favorite part in the comments. Have you read part 1 On The Sideline post yet? Check out the next post in the series on Battling Boredom. We’ll talk about how to keep yourself and your other littles occupied during long stretches on the sideline.