By Claire Siekaniec
TOSH Sport Dietitian
As a young athlete it may be easy to overlook nutrition as an important part of your development, but the truth is, healthy eating can be just as important as the drills you do at practice that make you a better athlete.
An athlete who eats fast food, candy and soda day after day is more likely to get sick or injured and will not perform as well as an athlete that eats whole grain foods, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and dairy products every day. Examples of whole grain foods include wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and oatmeal.
Next time you go to a sandwich shop after practice, try ordering your sandwich on whole wheat bread. Lean sources of protein include poultry, fish, seafood, beans and low-fat dairy products. Try ordering a grilled chicken or fish sandwich instead of a cheeseburger.
Fruits and vegetables may not sound as tasty as a side of French fries, but it is very important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of different vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy and grow strong bones and muscles.
Fruits and vegetables can be eaten as part of a meal or snack. Combine other healthy foods with them for an even more nutritious option. For example, apples with cheese, bananas with peanut butter, celery with nut butter and raisins, carrots with hummus or a green smoothie.
Eating a variety of nutritious foods every day will help keep you healthy and provide you with the energy you need during practices and games to be your best.
If you are interested in a dietitian talking to your team about nutrition, TOSH offers this service free of charge! Just call 801-314-4038 or email TOSHnutrition@imail.org to schedule a group nutrition class.