Fuel Up for Fall Sports with these 8 Nutrition Tips
Fall sports are in full swing, but it’s never too late to tighten up your nutrition routine. Here are 8 tips to keep you in tip-top shape for the season.
1. Have a Pre-Game Eating Plan
Depending on the intensity of your sport or event, you need to store up fuel in your body for the hard work it is about to do. Steadily increase your carb intake throughout the week. The day before the game or practice, eat foods that are carb-rich and protein-moderate, without overdoing it, it’s all about balanced nutrition! On the day of the game or practice, eat a snack or a small meal that’s easy to digest, about 1-3 hours before physical activity, and add another small snack, if desired, 30 minutes before.
When Jason Winn, CEO and founder of Bonk Breaker, was a Division 1 quarterback, he loaded up on pasta, chicken, and veggies or salad the night before a game. He ate a similar meal three hours before the game, and then thirty minutes before the game, he would have an energy bar. He hadn’t invented Bonk Breaker yet, but if he had, the PB&J Energy Bar would have been his pre-game go-to!
2. Get Your Good Carbs
Athletes need more energy (calories) than the average person. Carbs are the main source of energy and will give you the power to go, go, go!
Some examples of healthy carbs include:
- Starchy and non-starchy vegetables
- Whole-grain crackers, breads, and cereals
- Gluten-free grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and oats
Bonk Breaker Energy Bars can put fuel in your tank!
3. Pick Some Protein
Protein is essential for post-workout recovery and muscle repair. (Focus on carbs, not protein, for quick energy while you’re working out, so you don’t use the protein in your muscles!)
Some great sources of protein are:
- Dairy products
4. Don’t Forget the Fat
Fat is necessary for muscle growth and to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D, E, and K), but can also slow digestion, so you shouldn’t eat high-fat foods right before a competition.
Be sure to take in the good fats with your meals:
- Olive oil
- Fish (salmon and tuna are great options!)
- Nuts and seeds
5. Eat the Rainbow
Carbs, protein, and fat are important for fuel and recovery, but the body also needs the vitamins and minerals found in fruits and veggies. Here’s a simple tip – eat colorful meals to help meet all your nutritional needs.
6. Toss the Junk
It’s obvious, but worth repeating – limit the junk food! Sodas are full of sugar, and fast food is full of… who knows what! The healthier you eat, the better you will perform. Period.
7. Stay Hydrated
Drink water throughout the day, because with intense exercise comes intense sweating. It’s crucial to hydrate and replenish the electrolytes lost through sweat. Sports drinks are popular with athletes, but they can also have a lot of added sugar and chemical dyes. Our sister brand, SaltStick, offers chews, drink mixes and capsules which are formulated to replace the electrolytes lost through sweat.
8. Plan for Post-Game Recovery
The best thing to do after your game or workout is to get fuel back into your body; ideally, within thirty minutes after exercise to kickstart recovery. A full meal with both carbs and protein is best, but often you can’t get to a meal quickly, or your stomach is not feeling settled enough for food. That’s where protein bars come in – they can aid in recovery and muscle growth until you can get to a meal.
Bonk Breaker bars help with recovery. Plant-Based Protein Bars replace the glycogen stores used up during exercise and they’re easy on the stomach. Of course, Jason’s fave is the PB&J Protein Bar! For muscle recovery and repair – such as after ball sports or lifting weights – Collagen Protein Bars offer a higher protein.
Once he can get to meal, Jason gravitates toward a big salad with protein, or salmon with veggies and rice.
Good luck out there on the field, pitch, court, track, or wherever you push yourself to do your best! And don’t forget to FUEL UP!