Pass on the breaded chicken patties and cheeseburgers—pronto. Instead, have a taco (175 calories) or a sloppy joe (230 calories); both have moderate fat content and are loaded with carbs and protein.
When choosing a side, skip the fries and go for a baked potato when available. This high-carb power food provides a healthy dose of B vitamins, key to unlocking the energy in foods. It’s also a good source of potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Savor the veggie rainbow. “Red, green, yellow and orange vegetables are all rich in vitamins and minerals,” Rosenbloom says. Top your potato with broccoli instead of butter and sour cream. And remember, although canned veggies may have higher sodium content, the salt will help your body replace what’s lost from sweating during practice or a game.
Add vitamin C to your meal with fruit. A quarter cup of pineapple is a good choice, because it’s typically canned in its own juice, unlike other fruit cocktails, which are often canned in heavy syrup. Bring an orange or pear from home to eat at lunch or as a pre-practice snack.
Because you need 1,300mg of calcium per day, skip the soda and drink 8 ounces of 1 percent chocolate milk. With nearly 30 percent of your daily value of calcium and 8 grams of protein per serving, it also makes a great recovery drink, according to the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
* For a sloppy joe with baked potato, broccoli, pineapple and low-fat milk.
Chris Rosenbloom, RD, Ph.D., is a professor in the Nutrition Department in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Georgia State University. She also serves as the nutritionist for the Georgia State Athletic Association and chairs the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutritionists of the American Dietetic Association.
For more tips on how to fuel up best, check out the Nutrition Channel on STACK TV.