Running outside

Healthy Eating Tips for Athletes

What 
Drink 80 oz. of water every day.

Why
Helps regulate digestion and metabolism; removes toxins from the body; provides a full feeling to help prevent overeating; helps sustain energy levels; prevents dehydration that can lead to decreased performance.

How
Drink at refrigerator temperature. Keep a 20-oz. bottle in your car or locker; have it with meals. Increase your intake the more you sweat.

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What 
Eat breakfast every day.

Why
Provides energy to perform daily tasks, including studying, exercise, and sport; jump starts metabolism so that you can burn more calories throughout the day; prevents the desire to overeat later in the day.

How
Fruits, whole grains, breads, muffins, bagels, yogurt, turkey sausage/bacon, oatmeal, and eggs are great choices.

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What

Eat 6 meals every day (including the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Why
Keeps a constant flow of calories, vitamins and minerals that the body needs to excel during training and competition; helps burn more fat; prevents feeling “run down”; helps sustain muscle development.

How
Eat every 3-4 hours; grab a handful of “trail mix” at your locker for a snack (it’s gone by the time you get to class). Include carbs, protein and moderate levels of fat with every meal. Snacks count as a meal.

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What 
Eat 6 servings of fruits and veggies every day.

Why
Provides the necessary vitamins and minerals for healthy organs, skin, hair and eyes.

How
Make a smoothie for breakfast; snack on baby carrots or celery with a little ranch dressing; dip an apple slice into a little caramel. Try to eat the colors of the rainbow every day.
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What 
Consume 4 servings of dairy every day.

Why
Helps build strong bones and teeth; replenishes electrolytes lost in sweat; provides protein for muscle building. Chocolate milk provides the carbs, fat and protein needed to replenish those used stores after a workout.

How
Have 1% or 2% milk with cereal in the morning, yogurt with lunch, or 1 scoop of low fat ice cream as a nighttime snack.
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What 
Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night (while this isn’t food, its benefits are closely tied to the big picture).

Why
Helps a growing teenage body rest and repair for the next day’s activities; allows muscles to grow stronger; helps brain function for the next day; decreases chances of certain diseases later in life.

How
Go to sleep at the same time each night in a dark relaxing room; avoid exercise and large meals a few hours before bedtime; avoid working on the computer right before bedtime; establish a bedtime routine.

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Think of your body as a car: without good gas and proper maintenance, it won’t run well; without any gas or maintenance, it won’t run at all; without oil, the engine will burn up.  Food is to your body as gas is to the car, and oil is to the engine as water is to your body. It doesn’t matter how good you COULD be; without the proper fuel and upkeep, you’ll just sit in the garage and collect dust.