4 "emergency" fueling staples to keep on hand
After a short, but intense, bout of food poisoning, I’ll fully admit I
did a horrible job of re-nourishing myself. The main reason?
Even with a prepped pantry and fridge, my kitchen was not properly prepared for fueling the effects of exhaustion and zero appetite.
Which, for me, meant extremely low energy for several days. Our athletes, however, don't always have the same ability to ease back into games and practices.
Finding effective methods of fueling when appetites & energy are minimal is crucial.
Yes, I had BodyArmor and crackers in the house, but beyond that
anything I knew my body needed, I would have to prepare… and I sure as
hell didn’t have the energy for that.
So here’s the "emergency" staples I’ve learned to keep on hand...
Liquid I.V & BodyArmor: I'm using the brand names with this one. Just like after excessive sweating, 60 minutes of exercise. or after bouts of severe vomiting or diarrhea, water alone isn't enough to rehydrate the body- electrolytes need to be replaced.
There are other rehydration electrolyte mix sticks on the market, but Liquid IV is the only one I found that contains pure cane sugar instead of synthetic sugars (even though I'm not a fan of the Stevia in them).
Why do I like both?
Liquid IV has more sodium than BA, but BA has more magnesium and potassium (all important electrolytes)
Liquid IV packets are more convenient for travel or keeping bedside
BodyArmor is slightly less expensive
Though I don't mind the taste of either, I found the consistency of Liquid IV (mixed with water) a little thick... which was fine for rehydrating after illness, I'm not sure I could tolerate it after working out.
Frozen rice: While rice is easy to make stovetop or in the microwave, I truly didn't have the energy to stand for 20 minutes to make it. You can buy rice in the freezer section or make a double batch next time and store half in the freezer for energy fueling carbohydrates
Fruit/veggie pouches: Convenient to keep in the car or gym bag for a quick post-workout refuel, they're also helpful when zero appetite still requires nutrients. Look for brands with little to no added sugars (and no synthetic sugar substitutes aka sucralose or acesulfame potassium) and a blend of vegetable and fruit.... the baby food section can be a good spot to find higher quality products than the snack aisle.
Bone broth: Meeting nutritional needs is especially tough with little to no appetite. Although bone broth provides many (not all) of the essential amino acids (protein building blocks) the body needs, it can be an easier way to consume protein without the effort of chewing (seriously, the struggle was real!). Bone broth can be warmed and sipped like a broth, added to soups, or used in place of water for rice.
You can typically find bone broth in the refrigerated produce section, but there's also a shelf-stable pantry option if you aren't planning on using it within 5-7 days of purchase.
Low energy / low appetite staples are certainly beneficial for illness, but they're also helpful for our athlete's appetite changes from growth spurts and wisdom teeth extractions.
Wondering how your athlete's strength, speed, and recovery can benefit from fueling changes? Want to ensure your skaters are ready for playoffs and camps?