Fuel up Early, Ball Hard Later

Author- Joe Dibble, RD

Scenario: Justin B is a high school basketball player. Each day he wakes up late and rushes to school, skipping breakfast. He eats a sandwich around noon. Justin rarely drinks water, choosing soda instead. He goes to basketball practice from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Justin always works hard and is in good shape, but begins to miss easy shots, has trouble concentrating and struggles towards the end of practice. He gets home, exhausted , starving, and eats a huge dinner at 7:00 p.m. followed by dessert. The next day he wakes up and does it all over again.

Food for Thought…

  1. Why do you think Justin tires easily towards the end of practice?
  2. What time(s) of the day is Justin most active? What time(s) of day does Justin consume the most food?
  3. How many hours have passed between dinnertime and lunch the next day? How many hours pass between lunch and practice?
  4. Does this sound like you, or someone you know?

Food and drink is to your body what gasoline is to a car. Without it, don’t expect your body to think, play or practice well for very long. The window of opportunity to fuel and hydrate your body for afternoon practices starts with breakfast and continues until your practice or game begins.

Distribute and Win!
Follow these 3 simple steps to play like a beast all practice or game:

1. Eat a “balanced” breakfast AND 16 oz. fluids (either water, milk, 100% fruit juice).

Start with  these food combinations:

  • Bagel, cream cheese, sliced turkey with glass of V8 juice
  • Scrambled eggs, light cheese, salsa with glass of low-fat milk
  • Fruit smoothie with whey protein (isolate)
  • Whole wheat English Muffin with peanut butter
  • Wheaties or Cheerios with sliced banana, low-fat milk
  • Low-fat fruit yogurt (try Greek) with 1/2 cup granola
2. Eat a “balanced” lunch AND 16 oz fluids (either water, milk).
Choose these healthy combinations first:Turkey, roast beef, tuna or chicken sandwich. Load it up with veggies!
  • Hot lunch (at school)
  • Grilled chicken or bean burrito with salsa
  • Grilled chicken, beef, fish tacos with salsa
  • Stir-fried vegetables and steamed white rice
  • Pizza with vegetables and Canadian bacon
  • Fruit smoothie (e.g. Jamba Juice) with added protein
3. Eat a snack about the size of your fist AND 16 oz fluids (either water or Gatorade) about 15-60 minutes before practice and games.
Reach for these well-tested favorites:
  • Cookie Boy super cookies (Dietitian Approved!)
  • Clif Bar(s)
  • Apple, orange, grapes or banana  and a string cheese
  • 5 Fig Newtons
  • 1-2 boxes of raisins
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich(s)
  • 4-5 graham crackers
  • Granola bar(s)
  • Cheese or peanut butter on 5-10 crackers
  • Boost or Ensure brand nutritional drink

Game Time!
Pay close attention to which snacks eaten before practice sit well on your stomach and give you the most energy. These are your personal Peak Performance Foods! On game day, choose only these particular foods (in the same amounts) as your pregame snack(s).

About JDibble

Joe is a Registered Dietitian and National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer. A native Nevadan, Joe served three years in the U.S. Army before attending Cal Poly State University-where he graduated with a degree in Nutritional Science. Joe completed his dietetic internship through the University of Nevada, Reno. Joe was a fitness manager at a local health club prior to joining Sierra Strength & Speed in 2006. He has presented fitness and nutrition topics to several local organizations, and currently serves as the Treasurer of the Nevada Dietetic Association (NDA). Joe was awarded the 2007 Nevada Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year award by the American Dietetic Association and NDA. Joe is happily married to his wife of five years, Chantal, and he stays active in the gym and on the roads, mountains, and lakes of the high Sierras. For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Joe at (775) 741-1237 or at joenutrition@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Nutrition, Performance, Youth Developement and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *