Bridging the Nutrition Gap for the Student Athlete | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Bridging the Nutrition Gap for the Student-Athlete

October 12, 2012 | Brian Lebo,

Must See Nutrition Videos

Student-athletes: did you know that the typical school day schedule—lunch between 11 a.m. and noon, followed by after-school practice—with dinner at 6 p.m. or later is way too long to go without eating. For active, teenage athletes, a gap of seven to eight hour between meals is unhealthy, especially when they are engaged in sports activity during part of the time.

It's important to bridge this gap with a healthy, nutritious snack, for several reasons:

  • Refuel between meals
  • "Re-start" your metabolism
  • Boost your energy level
  • Improve your mental focus

So what should be your game plan? Pack a snack to eat immediately after school! Though this requires a little foresight, planning and preparation, it's well worth the effort. (Forget to pack one? Find a healthy vending machine.) Also drink plenty of water before practices and games.

Some examples of nutritious, portable after-school snacks are:

  • Nutrition bar: aim for low sugar with balanced carbs, protein and fat
  • Peanut butter and jelly (or banana) on whole grain bread
  • Greek yogurt and an apple
  • Almond butter on whole-grain English muffin
  • Turkey on whole grain bread

You don't have to eat a whole sandwich; half will suffice. The key is balance. Aim for a combination of "clean carbs," lean protein and healthy fat.

The purpose of the mid-afternoon snack is not to fill your stomach, but to help your body work more effectively and efficiently until you can refuel at dinnertime. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you.

Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...
Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...
Must See
Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 3,239,024
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 3,815,493
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 24,561,262

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros Episode 6: The Combine Views: 1,007
James Harden Resisted Euro-Step Views: 11,715
Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Views: 139,786
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwyane Wade Jumps Onto a 42" Box
Views: 10,738,584
Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,919,135
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 5,020,437
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,328,909
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,250

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

As nutritionists, we learned in Nutrition 101 that unsaturated fats are the "good" fats whereas saturated fats are the "bad" ones. For years we were...

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

Why You Should Always Say No to Diet Foods

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

The Boston Cannons'

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

The Case for Red Meat

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants