With all the running, dodging, scooping, checking and shooting in lacrosse, you can’t afford to neglect your diet. Proper nutrition for athletes provides a guideline for eating and drinking right before, during and after exercise. By following these steps, you will have the energy to outperform the competition in tryouts and beyond.
Nutrition for Athletes: Tips for a Stronger, Healthier Body
It’s no secret that nutrition for athletes plays a pivotal role in on-field success. In order to gain the benefits of a balanced diet, athletes must develop a plan and stick to it.
Eat a Good Breakfast
If you plan to train or play during the day, how you start the day influences your performance later. Your body will benefit from eating a healthy breakfast, such as cereal and eggs, which is full of carbohydrates and protein that fuels the body.
Lunch: Hearty and Balanced
If you are going to compete after school, what you eat for lunch plays a role in how well you perform. Rather than having a little or no lunch, eating a hearty and balanced mid-day meal is a recipe for success. Whole grains, lean protein, fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy provide the necessary nutrients to power you through the day.
Carbs Provide Energy
Carbohydrates provide the lasting energy every lacrosse player needs. Pasta, whole-grain bread and crackers are excellent ways to boost your carbohydrate intake.
Beware of Fatty Foods
Fatty foods leave you feeling tired and sluggish, because they slow your digestive process. Avoid eating greasy, fried food before a big game or practice.
Remember to drink plenty of water as well, because dehydration can have a major impact on your performance.
It’s important to stay hydrated during the day, but also in the two to three hours before a workout, tryout, practice or game. During strenuous exercise, you should consume approximately a half cup of water every 15 minutes to compensate for sweat loss.
Allow for Digestion
The time that you eat may be just as important as what you eat. If you understand that it takes about two to three hours to digest a meal, you can plan your eating schedule accordingly.
If you like a snack before stepping on the field, give yourself a half hour to an hour for digestion.