Nutrition for Active Days - Kelly Hogan, MS, RD, CDN (Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant
Balancing a busy school year along with an intense tennis practice schedule can be energy draining so getting proper nutrition is key to help fuel these long days. Use these tips to guide you towards a strong performance both on and off the court.
Traveling directly from school to HJTEP for practice and homework help may not allow time for a full meal and waiting until you get home at night to eat can leave you running on empty. Pack an extra snack in the morning so it's ready for munching on the way to practice in the evening. Try a combination of complex carbohydrates and protein to provide you with a long lasting energy source. Below are are list of possible choices:
- 1 piece of fruit (e.g. apple, banana, pear) with 2 tablespoons of nut butter or 1/4 cup of almonds or walnuts
- 2 slices whole wheat bread with 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter and jam
- Homemade trail mix with 1/4 cup of almonds, 1/4 cup of dried cherries, 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds and a handful of whole grain pretzels
- 1 cup dry cereal (such as Kashi Heart to Heart, Barbara's Puffins, Cheerios)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt with 1/3 cup granola and 1 cup sliced fruit
- 2-3 slices roasted turkey breast on whole wheat bread with leafy green lettuce and tomato
- Clif Z Bar or Kind Healthy Grains Bar with a piece of fruit
- 1 cup baby carrots with 2 tablespoons of hummus
- String cheese with a piece of fruit or 1 cup of baby carrots
- Bean burrito on whole wheat tortilla with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese, lettuce and tomato
Dehydration can cause fatigue and affect performance and it can be easy to forget to drink water regularly if you are constantly on the go. Try to carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times so you can easily refill at drinking fountains. Try downloading an app (such as Waterlogged) to help you keep track of how much water you drink on a daily basis (it's fun!).
We nutritionists say it's the most important meal of the day for a reason! Skipping breakfast can lead to low energy levels at school that can follow you to practice later in the day and negatively affect performance. Being busy or rushed is no excuse for missing this meal - plan your breakfast the night before by laying out oatmeal or smoothie ingredients. Put an English muffin in the toaster or even make a peanut butter and banana sandwich that is easy to grab as you run out the door.