Sports Nutrition Tips
One of the most common questions parents ask
regarding their child’s nutrition during sports is -
what is the healthiest thing for my child to eat and drink
before playing sports?
With our family of athletes, we have learned
that offering high – carbohydrate foods (also called
complex carbohydrates) versus high protein and fatty foods
two to three hours before a game is very important to maintain
the energy needed for them. Some examples of high-carbohydrate
foods are foods such as pastas, breads and cereal which are
digested quicker than high-protein and fatty foods. Unfortunately,
most children, and adults, forget just how important nutrition
is to good health and athletic performance.
is actually an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and
fluids and can be eaten one to two hours before a sporting
event. My children enjoy raw, dried and canned fruits
or fruit juice before we head out to a game.
are extremely important, before, during and after a game and
my children have discovered that staying hydrated makes for
a better performance. For elementary and middle-school
aged children, eight ounces of water before, during and after
the sporting event is extremely important, especially if the
outdoor temperatures are high. During a game, athletes should
be allowed to take fluid breaks when needed to maintain their
best and safest performance, and of course, caffeinated and
carbonated beverages are not recommended.
child tires easily in practice and appears irritable, and
their performance suddenly declines, dehydration may be the
cause. The following are more signs that your child is dehydrated:
- Dry lips and tongue
- Sunken eyes
- Bright colored or dark urine or urine with a strong
- Infrequent urination
- Apathy or lack of energy
up those water bottles and sport drinks (and don’t forget
the fruit) and head out after a healthy meal full of high-carbohydrates
to enjoy your child’s sporting activity.
don’t forget the sunscreen!
Paula Schmitt, award-winning author of Living
In A Locker Room: A Mom's Tale Of Survival In A Houseful Of
(2005), has been published in hundreds of publications.
She has appeared on numerous radio talk shows and in print
publications such as American Baby magazine, Family Circle
magazine, Parenting magazine, All You magazine, Adoption Today
magazine, Adopting for Tomorrow magazine, The Chicago Tribune,
The Boston Herald, The Burlington Free Press and many others.
She is the Founder and CEO of Mom Writer’s Productions,
LLC, Founder and Editor of The Mom Writer’s Literary
magazine (2005) – “A literary magazine for mom
writers who have something to say”, and Founder, Host
and Executive Producer of her radio talk show, Mom Writer’s
Talk Radio which launched fall of 2005.
When she isn’t writing, editing, or taxiing her children
to their sport events, she prefers to spend quality time in
central Vermont with her husband and five children.
To read more of her columns visit www.paulaschmitt.com
and for some much needed adult conversation email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2006, Paula Schmitt. Permission granted for reprints.