Most of us are familiar with the saying “you are what you eat.” So we cannot feed our kids, our athletes, our future super-stars junk food and expect high performance.
I had the opportunity to remind my own children of this last weekend. My daughter had spent the night with a friend and in the morning they had donuts and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. A couple of hours later I picked her up for her soccer game. She did okay for the first half of the game, but then she crashed. So badly, in fact, that she didn’t play at all the second half. Instead she sat out with a stomach ache and no energy. After the game I reminded her and our boys, that food is fuel. It will work either for us or against us.
The calories that we put in our mouth are broken down and either used as energy or stored for later use. Studies have proven that our body does not recognize processed food as fuel. Therefore, it is quickly digested and stored. These are “empty calories,” meaning that they do nothing for us. These types of foods should be eaten minimally.
Ironically, the worst “foods” seem to appear at sporting events, when fueling should be a priority.
Here are some ideas for pre-game breakfast fuel: fruit, whole grain pancakes or waffles, oatmeal, and eggs.
Recharge post-game with carbohydrates and protein such as: fruit and cheese sticks, peanut butter and/or cheese and crackers.
Don’t forget to hydrate your athlete, too! Kids need to be drinking lots of water every day. Our body does not know what to do with blue drinks, orange chips and fruitless fruit snacks.
Help your children, your athletes, be all they can be by learning early in life that “you are what you eat.”
Lauren is a mom, Juice Plus+ rep, Health Educator, and certified fitness trainer. Read more at www.ugetfitwithjuiceplus.com