As an athlete you aren’t going to get anywhere close to a good performance on an empty stomach. On the other hand, eating the wrong food and too much of it before a game isn’t good either. Your pre game meal should at best be decorating your shoes because you might puke everything out what you ate.
The ideal thing to do is to consume a pre game that would address your needs of energy such as easily digestible carbohydrates along with the additional goodness of essential nutrients. As far as lifestyle is concerned, Athletes too are sometimes tempted to steer off the track and indulge in unhealthy habits. It’s a grab and go situation because of the feeling of hunger all the time.
If you are an athlete, the best way to abide by a healthy lifestyle is to remain focused on your goals and of course your diet. To avoid the temptation of unhealthy snack choices, here are 10 beneficial snacks for athletes like you irrespective of what your game is.
1. Homemade trail mix
A combination of nuts such as cashew, peanuts, almonds and walnuts along with simple carbs like granola, pretzels and dry fruit can provide you a good dose of protein. This combo also provides healthy omega 3 fatty acids that contribute to fat burn, energy and muscle recovery. The benefit of these snacks is they remain fresh throughout the day.
2. Sports Nutrition Bar
Sports nutrition bars are fast and portable snacks that are really awesome. However, they can also be expensive. Not all sports nutrition bars can suit your purpose because they could be loaded with sugars and high calories. What you can do therefore is to find out which one works best for you in terms of a healthy sportsperson’s diet.
3. Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches
Peanut butter is an all time favorite for many but you need to be careful of allergies. This combo snack packed with nutrients would provide you fats and proteins along with the goodness of fiber. Honey is beneficial for athletes as it also contains antioxidants and a load of vitamins and nutrients.
4. Pretzels and Hummus
As a healthy snack for athletes, this combination could as well be your favorite party food. This goes on to show that eating healthy is not boring at all. Pretzels and hummus are portable snacks that can be carried around anywhere. They are packed with protein, fiber and a variety of other essential nutrients
5. Whole Grain Bagel with Nut Butter
As a treat packed with crabs and protein the whole grain bagel with nut butter is one of the best choices for athletes. This combination is low in sugar as well. Versatile snacks like these create variety as you can chose the ingredients from different nut butters like almond, sunflower and peanut. The combination of high protein and carb content also acts as a pre or post workout snack.
While many think that describing fruit as a sack seems weird because it is more of a food choice, you’ll be surprised how fruits can provide you a power punch of vitamins and ready electrolytes even during a game. This is why you may have noticed tennis athletes chomping on bananas in between sets. Bananas are packed with potassium and prevent cramps. Bananas also contain a ready source of electrolytes necessary for ones game. Apples are also high in natural sugar and fiber. Popping a handful of grapes will also give you ready fuel to up your game.
7. Salmon sandwich
Did you know the benefits of salmon during work-outs are that it provides you an abundance of nutrients primarily rich in omega 3 fatty acids and promotes muscle recovery? In addition to an amazing dose of omega 3s, you get vitamin B, Selenium, antioxidants, potassium, weight maintenance, and of course proteins.
8. Grilled chicken breast and cottage cheese sandwich
The ingredients of Grilled chicken breast include a healthy low fat dose of excellent protein and a number of less celebrated nutrients that are extremely helpful for your body. By far one of the most important elements of chicken breast is Leucine, which in turn is one of the three main BCAAS (branch chain amino acids) highly essential for health. Leucine contributes toward healing and health of skeletal muscle tissue. Apart from these foods, there are a load of healthy snacks you can choose that are both nutrient rich as well as pleasing in taste.
9. Non-Fat Plain or Greek Yogurt
It is no-brainer to conclude that athletes need strong muscles and healthy bone structure. So, yogurt is a rich source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and also reduces risk of osteoporosis. But did you know, as per some experts, calcium also plays a pivotal role in muscle metabolism. Since yogurt encourages the growth of good bacteria, which also help your body fight many diseases. It is indeed good snack for athletes.
10. Raw Vegetables
You might not have paid a heed on the nutritious value of raw vegetables, but let me tell you these are highly essential for athletes like you. You can easily get hold of baby carrot sticks cut-up in individual packages with broccoli and cauliflower that are readily available on supermarkets. Then just mix them and prepare a light salad dressing.
Since you are an athlete living in a fast paced world, it would be difficult on concentrating more than three meals per day. Instead the nutritional experts advocate eating small healthy meals per day can provide enough fuel for improved workouts and exceptional health. Besides nutrition, you can also abide by healthy habits that would make you a better athlete.