With back-to-back training sessions sandwiched between a full day in the classroom and other after-school activities, it’s no surprise that youth athletes’ days are so exhausting. With thoughts about packing training kit, schoolbooks and homework, lunch and snacks for the day are often forgot about or left till the las minute. But, with the importance of good nutrition for fuelling, refuelling, preparing and recovering, we’ve written a quick and easy guide to how youth athletes can pack for a day on the go and get the most out of their training.
Think about your lunch and snacks in the same way as you think about your training kit. You wouldn’t go to a session without your trainers or swimsuit. Make sure you know your training schedule and when the long and tough days are so that you can prepare your food for the day in advance and know exactly what you’re going to eat and when to fuel your sessions.
Don’t wait till your 6am alarm to grab your food for the day as you rush out of the house. Have your bag packed the night before, ready to grab and go. Keep any food that need to be refrigerated all together, so you don’t miss any bits in the morning rush.
Many youth athletes head straight to school after an early morning session, meaning breakfast needs to be eaten on the go. Add lunch and a pre-training snack to this and that’s going to mean bringing a lot of food! Make the most of leftovers from the night before, as well as quick and simple meals like sandwiches and wraps. Just remember to keep them high in carbohydrate to fuel the muscles and a good source of protein for repair and recovery.
Some of our favourites are:
Your snacks might be sitting in your bag for the whole day before they get eaten. Make sure you choose food that can survive a day of getting thrown around, there’s nothing worse than finding an exploded banana all over your bag! Snacks like hard or dried fruit, nuts, pretzels and cereal make great choices and make sure you pack enough to last the entire day.
Whether you heading to school straight from a session, or you’ve got training straight after, staying hydrated is vital! Bring a refillable water bottle and keep sipping it roughout the day. Not only will this help with your sports performance, but it’ll help with your concentration in the classroom too.
Youth athletes should be aiming to drink 2-3L each day.
With these 5 tips, youth athletes should be well equipped for the hectic schedules and to get the most out of their training sessions.
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Just as your youth athlete will need to fuel well to stay healthy, the same goes for parents too. Ensuring you eat a healthy and balanced diet will help to keep your energy levels high, so you’re better equipped to handle the stress and challenges that life throws at you.