Meal planning for summer athletics

Meal planning for summer athletics

Meal planning for summer athletics The Ultimate Lineup

Have a new summer schedule.  Try a new way to plan your meals!

To create an effective meal plan that you will love to follow do a meal planning assessment. Think about things like your summer schedule, cooking skills, current food habits, likes, dislikes, and specific eating requirements.  This will help you understand the best way to approach meal planning for all types of athletics.

How you arrange your meal plans should vary according to when you exercise, if you work out or practice more than once per day, your size and your preferences. You have many options for eating healthfully and getting the nutrients you need.  The exact quantity of food depends on your metabolism, your size and when you’re in training — if it’s game time or heavy competition season, you may need larger quantities than in the off-season.

Here are some tips for meal planning for athletes:

Breakfast:  Breakfast doesn’t have to consist of traditional “breakfast” foods.   A chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread, leftover salmon and brown rice, or pasta with turkey breast and roast vegetables are all good choices.  Other recommendations include whole grain pancakes or oatmeal; eggs and lean meats for protein; low-fat dairy, such as milk or yogurt, for calcium; and fruit for important vitamins and antioxidants. Make a plan to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.

Snack: Banana and a variety of nuts

Lunch:  Lunch can look traditional, with sandwiches, salads and soup, or be a combination of snack-like foods such as nuts, seeds, hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables and hummus.  Pasta with grilled chicken and vegetables is always a good choice.

Pre-workout/game: Energy bar or whole-grain crackers and a few slices of lean protein.

Dinner:  A good, balanced dinner consists of 4 to 5 ounces of lean protein or fish, a cup or two of green leafy or steamed vegetables and quality carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, rice or quinoa

Desert:  Every good meal has it!  Try yogurt or small amount of ice cream for dessert.

When you eat is just as important as what you eat.  Some tips for eating on gameday include:

Eat a meal 3 to 4 hours before activity.

When there are 3 hours or less before game or practice, eat a lighter meal or snack that includes easy-to-digest carbohydrate-containing foods, such as fruit, crackers, or bread.

After the game or event, experts recommend eating within 30 minutes after intense activity and again 2 hours later.

Learn more about meal planning at:

The Complete Guide to Meal-Planning Success – Triathlete