Bite-Sized Meals Should Still Pack A Punch

Snacking on the go can be a challenge for young athletes. It’s easy to grab a quick plate of nachos at the rink in a pinch, and although they’re tasty, nachos won’t help you out on the ice. Making the effort to bring simple, healthy snacks is key to keeping every athlete at peak performance. Here are five easy ideas for the next time you’re searching for the right treat to pack in your hockey bag.

1. Popcorn. You might be surprised to learn that popcorn can be a healthy snack. Without all of that extra butter and salt, popcorn is full of whole grains and fiber. It’s also great on the go.
2. Trail Mix. The beauty of this classic treat is its variety. Include everything from nuts and dried fruit to the occasional nibble of chocolate for a healthy and fun snack.
3. Yogurt-Covered Pretzels. Adding yogurt to this snack, already high in fiber, is great for a delicious pick-me-up during an intermission or after a hard practice.
4. Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. Though it may seem to defy convention, one of these cookies is high in carbs and a great snack for a busy athlete.
5. Apple Peanut Butter Smoothie. This frozen delight, which includes fruit, milk and peanut butter, is high in calories and the perfect energy-boosting snack.





3 Important Takeawys

As a sports dietician, Carrie Aprik has educated a lot of elite athletes with what they need to know about eating to perform at an elite level. Here are some of the takeaways she hopes every athlete will learn.

Fueling The Machine. Not all food is created equal, and it’s important that athletes know how the food they’re putting into their bodies affects their performance. Just as protein is necessary for muscle strength and endurance, carbohydrates are important to maintain energy levels.

Time To Eat. Just as athletes must have an idea of what to eat, they also need to know when to eat it. Most people know that it’s important to stay hydrated after a hard workout session, but it’s equally as important to refuel with a well-timed snack. “We want our athletes eating as soon as possible after they’re done with a hard training session,” Aprik says. “After 30 minutes at the most, you need to be getting at least 20 grams of protein in your system.”

Hydration Is Key. “Athletes should be working to replace as much fluid as they lose, especially during training,” she says. “It’s especially important for hockey players, considering how much fluid they lose just sweating underneath all of the equipment.” Rehydrate with water or sports drinks, which are helpful especially after a long workout or game.



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