We are excited to have a new feature this year thanks to Family Fare. Each week Stephanie Edson, MS, RDN, LD, LMNT and Nathan Stock will be providing nutritional tips to help athletes reach their full potential.
Click on the Family Fare logo below for more information.
Sept 15 th
While half of our plates should be filled with fruits and veggies, one quarter should be filled with grains. When it comes to choosing grains, there are two kinds – refined grains and whole grains. Refined grains are highly processed and include white bread, traditional pastas, and white rice. Whole grains include whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, and oats. When selecting grains, the only way to know if something is a whole grain is to look at the ingredient list. If a product is whole grain, the first ingredient will be ‘100% whole —‘ or ‘whole —‘.
Half of the grains we eat should be whole grains. Whole grains are less processed and contain more fiber which is important for overall health including heart health, gut health, and weight management. For athletes, whole grains also provide complex carbohydrates which provides lasting energy for practices and games. Most likely, the grains served at school are whole grain. A good approach is to enjoy whole grains at home and refined grains when dining out since whole grains are not commonly served in restaurants.
When planning your meals and snacks, remember to ‘Have a Plant’ by including fruits and veggies! Fruits and veggies come in a variety of rich colors and contain: vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates to help fuel our bodies during practice and games. We want to choose a wide variety of colored fruits and veggies for the best health. If you had peaches at breakfast, choose broccoli or cauliflower and strawberries or blueberries at lunch. Fruits and vegetables help us to maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of diet related chronic diseases, and even puts us in better moods. Be sure to fill half of your plates with fruits and veggies now and throughout the year to be at your best!
Whether you are looking for post workout nourishment or a quick meal, a protein shake or bar can be an excellent option. When choosing a shake or bar, 20 to 30 grams of protein is perfect. There is actually a limit to how much protein the body can absorb in one setting, so options with greater than 30 grams are not necessarily better for you. Conveniently, many protein shakes and bars contain 20 grams of protein, which is perfect, especially if you consume regular meals and snacks! If you are using the protein shake or bar as a meal replacement, look for an option that is fortified with vitamins and minerals such as Muscle Milk ready-to-drink protein shakes and Muscle Milk protein powder or Clif Builder’s Bar or Met RX bar, all available at your local Family Fare!
To feel your best while being physically active, avoid eating high fat and/or higher fiber foods prior to workouts, practice, or games. Fat and fiber take longer to digest which may lead to stomach aches during physical activity if consumed right before the activity. If you are looking for a snack before your activity, opt for a higher carbohydrate containing food such as fresh fruit, Our Family canned fruit, or Our Family frozen fruit. If you need a little more nutrition to help keep you fueled, a lean protein such as Our Family string cheese or Our Family deli meat are good options.