Late Night Fueling: Part 3 of fueling athletes on the road
Updated: Jan 3
No doubt, sleep is essential for recovery, especially during multiple games in a weekend. But food is equally necessary.
Granted this season's games are on pause for many of us, but late night fueling is important whether athletes are at home or away.
We can blame social media for feeding the myth that eating after certain hours is "bad."
The body doesn't run a time-clock that rejects food after 8pm or automatically turns it all to fat. And, in the case of athletes, the body is working especially hard at rest.
Rest is where growth and recovery happen.
That said, there are considerations to what athletes eat before bed.
While every athlete's metabolism is different, the goal is to avoid interrupting quality of sleep. If they're waking up during the night or waking up feeling full, bloated, or fatigued, it's possible the late-night food choice needs altering.
Ideally, easily digestible foods: oatmeal, rice, bananas, pineapple, 1/2 a sandwich, bagel, chicken, or pasta are usually tolerable...
pizza, greasy fast-food, and high sugar cereals don't offer much support for recovery, the next day's performance, or quality of sleep.
Which also means late-night fueling on the road can feel challenging.
Most weekends away we have at least one game that ends well after 9, which means it's 10:00 before we're out of the rink. Pre-Covid it was a little easier to find something open late- but now it takes a bit of pre-planning.
Here's 3 convenient ways to fuel late with limited options available:
Add dinner at lunch. Order an extra sandwich, grilled chicken salad, or salmon and rice at lunch to keep in the hotel room fridge for after the late night game.
Keep bagels or peanut butter and jelly in the room for late-night hunger after an early dinner.
Pick up a pre-made meal at a nearby grocery store after dropping athletes at the rink for warm-ups.
With the ever-changing season status, what new fueling challenges are you facing? Non-stop snacking? Low prep meal ideas? Teaching athletes to expand their kitchen skills?
Let me know, I'm happy to help!
Questions about fueling on the road or your athlete's individual nutritional needs? Message me here.