What to eat for after school practice
We know consistent fueling is essential for athletes, but how are they supposed to eat before practice when there's no time to head home first? Too many athletes rush to get out of class, changed in the locker room, find a snack, and into the gym or onto the field... and then wonder why their practice doesn't go as well as they'd hoped.
Rushing a quick snack won't effectively fuel them for the work ahead- especially if they have an early lunch period.
So, how do we make sure they're energized & focused without relying on the vending machine to get through practice? Plan to fuel.
Work backwards and note what time is four hours and two hours before the scheduled practice time.
The body needs about four hours for full digestion. By two hours prior, minimizing protein and fats before practice can help athletes avoid feeling full, fatigued, or cramping at practice.
What happens if their lunch period is within the two hour mark? Use that time for hot/cold pasta, fruit/veggies with hummus, or turkey/pb&j sandwich and eat packed yogurts or chocolate milk earlier in the day.
More often, though, the two hour window falls within class time or passing period. Plan ahead for a suitable carb focused snack during that time:
Smoothie (in reusable water bottle with straw)
Trail mix: nuts, dark chocolate chips, pretzels, dry cereal, freeze-dried fruit
Cheese wedge & pretzels
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Mini strawberry chia muffins
Pinwheel or Hawaiian roll sandwich
Packaged Bar: Kind, Zbar, Kate's Real Food
Mini or 1/2 Dave's Killer Bagel
Dry roasted chickpeas or edamame
Then, a small locker room snack -if necessary- simply tops off energy reserves rather than struggling to provide emergency fueling.
Focus, speed, endurance, and strength aren't build on rushed snacks and food as an afterthought. Change your plate, change your game.
Looking to strengthen your foundation? Preparing to level-up before next season? Need more recipe ideas for fueling at school?
Contact us HERE to chat!