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…
- Why do you think Justin tires easily towards the end of practice?
- What time(s) of the day is Justin most active? What time(s) of day does Justin consume the most food?
- How many hours have passed between dinnertime and lunch the next day? How many hours pass between lunch and practice?
- 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
- 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
- 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
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).