It’s that time of year! As summer comes to an end, high school sports camps ramp up. Football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, swimming, soccer, and band camp are upon us, and that means long days for your student outside in the heat, humidity, and sun.
Before your child steps onto the field or blacktop, here are some tips to keep your teen nourished and alert all day long.
- Drink water. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 17 ounces (a little more than two cups) of water two hours before exercise. Start the day with water, and avoid dairy and sports drinks before getting underway.
- Eat protein and carbohydrates. Athletes burn a lot of calories working out and running drills all day long. Keep your competitor’s strength up and their hunger at bay by preparing a well-balanced breakfast. Some good choices include peanut butter on whole wheat toast, oatmeal, or a hard boiled egg.
- Don’t overeat. It’s best to eat smaller meals or frequent snacks throughout practice than to eat one large meal in the morning. Eating the right amount at breakfast will keep players from cramping up or feeling too full and sluggish. During the day, think about snacks like almonds, granola, and fruit to ward off hunger.
- Avoid sugar. Athletes and sugar don’t mix. It can lead to dizzy spells, headaches, and overall lethargy. Sugar “highs” are often accompanied by a sugar “crash,” which doesn’t help anyone on or off the field.
Stay tuned for more tips later in the week to learn which foods are best for your athlete to eat to recover after long day of practice!