For many years, here at Linn-Mar we have pleaded with players and families to take some time to consider the impact of the food/drink that a player is putting into his body. Some of the things we have done/do to encourage these healthier alternatives are:
- Ask parents to host “team dinners” and to consider clean and healthy alternatives, and not junk food.
- Offer post-game sandwiches from Jimmy Johns instead of stopping at McDonalds or Wendy’s.
- Supply the players with water and Gatorade after games and tournaments.
- Give players chocolate milk after workouts (which has valuable proteins, unlike water and Gatorade). >>> The Science of Chocolate Milk
How to fuel your body during the season
The more time you have before practice or game-the more you should eat; the less time you have-the less you should eat.
So what foods are good/bad for our student-athletes, we’ll use the simple and easy to remember “Eat F.O.O.D. Not C.R.A.P.” to help players make better dietary decisions.
Eat Food, Not Crap
|F||Fresh Fruits & Veggies||Fruits and veggies are nature’s superfoods. They nourish the human body on every level! They are loaded with a lot of volume, and not a lot of calories – so a little bit goes a long way.|
|O||Organic Lean Proteins||The body needs an adequate intake of dietary protein to make and repair cells and to support normal growth and development. Protein is found in a number of different types of food. When considering a source of protein, it is important to look at the whole package. Choosing more lean sources of protein will limit saturated fat intake and decrease a person's risk of heart disease. Examples include fish, poultry, lean cuts of beef, soy foods; also quinoa, nut butters, egg whites, oatmeal, and sunflower seeds.|
|O||Omega 3 Fatty Acids||Known as ‘brain food’, omega 3 fatty acids are found in many sources, such as fish oil, almonds, pecans, walnuts, flaxseed, and olive oil.|
|D||Drink Water||Proper hydration curbs cravings, gives consistent energy, aids digestion, and is the best thing to drink during a practice or game.|
|C||Carbonated Drinks||In just one 20 ounce bottle, there are 242 calories. 3500 calories equals one pound, so by consuming just one of these bottles every day over the course of a year, you are adding 25 pounds to your body! If you want to gain weight, there are a lot of smarter and healthier ways to do it.|
|R||Refined Sugars||Products that contain refined sugars often include candy, regular soda, syrups, table sugar, cakes, cookies, pies, sweet rolls, pastries, fruit drinks and dairy desserts. Because so many convenient foods include added sugar, any packaged or restaurant food that contains sugar could be considered a refined food.|
|A||Artificial Sweeteners & Colors||Artificial sweeteners may save you calories but there is strong evidence that they promote hunger and increase your appetite--so you many end up eating more food throughout the day. Studies show that artificial sweeteners stimulate high insulin levels in the blood which promote storage of body fat.
Artificial food coloring may make food/drinks look appetizing, but these synthetic ingredients often take the place of nutrition in foods. For example, fruit juice that contains colors is typically devoid of any fruit, making it artificially-colored sugar water. Worse than that, many food colors are linked to hyperactivity disorders and cancer.
|P||Processed Foods||If it comes from a can, a box, or out of the freezer and gets thrown in the microwave then it more than likely is no good for you at all. Foods that have an exceptionally long shelf life and that can sit in your pantry, cupboard or freezer for a really long time without ever going bad should make you think twice about what it will do to your body. Processed foods include and are not limited to: cakes, candies, soda, bread, instant oatmeal, twinkies, top ramen, mac n cheese, cereal, chips, crackers, anything fast food, etc.|