Jun 17, 2020
5 Strategies for Student-Athletes To Stay Fueled

When the temperatures begin to turn up in the summer months, staying properly fueled through practices and games takes on a greater importance — especially with younger student-athletes.

Ensuring that a student-athlete is well hydrated and properly fueled to sustain a high-level practice in the heat will inevitably help them stay sharp and ready to play.

This can help prevent dehydration, boost energy levels, and maintain the athlete’s lean muscle, all promoting good habits and a decreased risk of injury.

Photo: Minda Haas Kuhlmann / Creative Commons

An article from the Scottish Rite For Children outlined five strategies to improve practices and performance in student-athletes. Below is an excerpt from that article, detailing those tips.

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  1. Eat consistently throughout the day. Even though your schedule may be different right now, make sure to include a balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner no matter when what time you train. Don’t forget snacks!
  2. Eat a quality recovery meal or snack 30 to 45 minutes after an intense workout. Protein + carbohydrate = “quality recovery meal or snack.” Examples include:
    • Chocolate milk
    • Cheese & crackers
    • Turkey sandwich
    • Fruit yogurt
    • Fruit smoothie made with cow’s milk, soy milk or yogurt
  3. Drink water throughout the day AND throughout your practice. Dehydration is a serious risk with hot Texas temps and even being 2% dehydrated can decrease performance. If you’re a heavy sweater or practicing outside for over an hour, you may need a sports drink instead of water.
  4. Bring snacks or sports drinks with you to long practices. These will be important if energy levels dip, or you start to feel dizzy, shaky, or extremely tired. These should be sources of quickly digested carbohydrates such as pretzels, dried fruit, sports drinks, crackers, oranges, low fat, low fiber granola bars, etc..
  5. Rely on food and drinks (think milk, water, 100% fruit juice, sports drinks) for energy and nutrition instead of supplements. Supplements seem easy, but they may contain harmful substances not listed on the label and they may prevent you from getting adequate calories, carbohydrates, and other required nutrients you need for strength, speed, agility, and focus.

To read the full story from the Scottish Rite For Children on five strategies for keeping student-athletes properly fueled, click here

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