Do you have any young athletes at home? You can help them stay on top of their game by making sure they have the fuel and nutrition they need before and on game day. Here are some mealtime prep tips to get them ready:
1. Gameday starts with a good breakfast.
Make sure to serve breakfast at least 3 hours before the event. Some healthy choices include scrambled eggs, fruit, or lightly grilled potatoes with orange juice or fat-free milk.
2. Provide plenty of carbs with meals.
Carbs are a great source of energy. To get your kids plenty of carbs, give them things like whole-grain bread, cereal, pasta, crackers, and potatoes. For a game-time boost, a healthy sports drink with low sugar and the right vitamins can provide that lift of energy kids need to keep energy at peak levels during the game.
3. Limit fatty foods.
Foods with a lot of fat slow digestion. This is not ideal for kids getting ready for competition. Greasy foods can leave your child feeling tired and sluggish.
4. Serve protein throughout the day.
Each meal can benefit from proteins such as fruit, eggs, low-sodium deli meats, and whole-grain toast. Plant-based choices, such as beans and tofu, are also a great way to add protein to your kid’s diet.
5. Think safety.
Some food-related problems can slow kids down or even take them out of the game. Stomach cramps or nausea can quickly derail your kid’s energy. Make sure refrigerated foods are kept at the proper cooling temperatures. Double-check the expiration dates on foods before serving them – foods near their expiration dates will spoil faster if not refrigerated.
6. Give them plenty of fluids.
Hydration should begin early on game day. Make sure kids drink plenty of water during the day leading up to the game. During the game, they should continue to drink about a ½ cup every 15 minutes.For events lasting 45 minutes or longer, be sure to have healthy sports drinks on hand to replace sweat and vitamin loss. Healthy sports drink choices include drinks with low sugar per serving and essential vitamins to fuel the body.
7. Provide post-game nutrition.
Your child may need a snack before dinnertime hits. Fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, and smoothies are good to fill the energy gap between game time and dinner time.
We hope the information in this article helps you spot healthy sports drink choices for your next purchase.