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Regular reminders with some of these important facts may have a positive impact on our youth. Healthy alternatives are easily available but you may have to make an effort to change eating habits by remembering to choose these items. Each individual’ has to learn what foods, beverages, and comfortable digestion times that works best before workouts and/or races.



Snacking without guilt:  Snacking is a healthy way to include the calories needed to sustain energy throughout the day.

  • Snacking provides extra calories to fuel your body

  • Snacking aids in recovery and glycogen synthesis

  • Snacking helps to decrease hunger and may prevent overeating at other times during the day.

When to snack:

Early Morning Workouts -  Fluids containing carbohydrates (such as low fat milk or juice) are easy to digest and aid in replenishing glycogen stores.

Afternoon Exercise -

  • Snacking before afternoon exercise sessions enhances training sessions

  • Snacking after afternoon training sessions provides adequate carbohydrate for recovery and glycogen synthesis

  • Snacking frequently throughout the afternoon and early evening may allow you to pass on a heavier dinner. Heavy meals require more time to digest and may make you feel uncomfortable.

Plan Ahead!

Not planning ahead can set you up for a disaster!  You may get too hungry and grab high sugar, high fat foods rather than whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Plan ahead and always carry a sack of snacks.

 Snack Ideas:

  • Vegetable soup with grated cheese

  • Whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter or cheese

  • Low fat yogurt with fruit

  • Bagel with cream cheese

  • Tortilla chips with salsa

  • Dried fruit and nuts

  • Baked potato with cheese and veggies

  • Sweet potato

  • Fruit dipped in chocolate syrup

  • Bran muffin or pretzels and 1 00% fruit juice box

  • String cheese and a fruit cup

  • Crackers with vegetable juice

  • Low fat milk with whole grain cereal, cereal bar, animal crackers, Fig Newtons, oatmeal raisin cookies, Carnation Instant breakfast, or chocolate

  • Pudding with granola or fruit

  • Air-popped popcorn with almonds

  • Hummus on pita wedges

  • Celery with peanut butter and raisins

  • Trail Mix - cereal, peanuts & pretzels

  • Apple slices with peanut butter


 Eating Before Exercise

Why eat and drink before exercise or an event?

  • To avoid needless fatigue and lethar9y

  • To fuel the muscles and prevent “burnout’

  • To provide the necessary fluids the body needs

What to eat and drink before exercise or an event?

  • High carbohydrate, low fat, moderate protein, high fluid and familiar foods

  • Avoid high fiber and fried foods, and fluids containing caffeine and carbonation

 When to eat before exercise or an event

  • 3-4 hours for a large meal

  • 2-3 hours for a smaller meal or snack

  • 1-2 hours for a liquid meal

 What you eat and when you eat before and after your training session will effect your sports performance. For optimal performance, a high carbohydrate meal 3 – 4 hours before the event is recommended, since it will digest quickly and will provide you with extra energy

Pre-Exercise Meal Ideas

Breakfast ideas

  • Whole grain bagel with peanut butter

  • Pancakes or waffles with syrup

  • Hot or cold cereal with low fat milk and fruit

  • Whole grain muffin

  • Egg with toast

  • Breakfast shake with low fat milk and fruit

 Lunch ideas

  • Turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato

  • Pasta with tomato sauce; salad with low fat dressing and bread

  • Baked potato with broccoli and low fat cheese

  • Tuna sub with an orange

  • Minestrone soup with crackers


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