Nutrition guide

Sports tournament and nutritional travel guide

As a parent or an athlete, one of the important battles in the struggle to eat well while traveling is having nutritious food ready and available when you need it most.

Traveling athletes often lose many of the benefits of playing at home, such as sleeping in their own bed and eating meals at home. Between car trips and flights to tournaments, showcases, and road games, it’s hard to eat right and nourish your body for performance if you make your eating decisions at the last minute and on the fly.

Even if you know what is healthy, if you are not prepared when it is time to eat, you are doomed. How many times have you eaten a hot dog and fries at a concession stand between tournament games because it was the only option? Or maybe you woke up late at the hotel and have to stop at a fast food restaurant last minute.

We’ve all been there.

Fortunately, making a nutritional plan before hitting the road can help parents and athletes make better choices, giving them the energy to play hard all weekend, even in the last few minutes of the day. previous match.

The goal here is to find healthy snacks and meals that you already enjoy eating so you don’t experience an upset stomach or cramps during games. You want to strive to keep your eating routine consistent with the foods you eat every day.

Plan several days before your travel tournament

Determine the location around where you are staying and / or playing. What are the natural markets nearby? Healthy coffees? Are there any build-it-yourself fast food restaurants where you can make your own bowl or sandwich? Find out what “grocery stores near [hotel or gymnasium address]”appears on Google Maps. Report and save locations for situations where you might be in a rush and need to stop quickly. You can also book healthy restaurants for situations where you might have a longer 2 to 3 hour break between trips. games so that you can eat a more balanced and filling meal.

Many grocery stores even offer pre-made salads or deli sandwiches, pre-cut and pre-washed fruit, pre-made hummus, single-serve yogurt parfaits, and protein bars. They may even have self-serve creation options where you can make your own bowl of cereal, salad, sandwich, or hot meals. You can also find a food preparation service to do the job for you.

Pack the right foods for sports tournaments

Eating the right types and combinations of food is crucial for you to feel your best when playing. If you only have a short break between games, consider eating fast digesting foods that are high in carbohydrates. If you have a larger gap of several hours between games, consider eating a larger, balanced meal with lots of protein, carbohydrates, veggies, and healthy fats.

Here is a more detailed look at the good food before the game.

These snacks are good to eat within 30 to 60 minutes of a game or between games because they are fast digesting foods that will quickly convert to energy:

  • Peanut Butter Rice Cake
  • Nut butter and berry jam sandwich
  • Piece of whole fruit like a banana, apple, orange
  • Several handfuls of blueberries or strawberries
  • Dried fruit and nut bars
  • Oatmeal and granola bars

For longer stays, invest in an insulated cooler bag or use the hotel room’s mini-fridge to prepare meals before heading to the gym to save time and money. Think of the balanced meals you already enjoy eating, like yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit and granola or whole grain wraps with lean meats, veggies and avocado.

Once you’ve thought about what meals you like to eat before games or practices, pack the necessary ingredients so you can make breakfast or lunch when you have longer breaks of 2-3 hours. This is when it makes sense to eat a balanced meal with lots of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, as your body will have plenty of time to digest and convert the meal into sustainable energy.

Sports tournament and travel nutrition template

Here is a good template to use in preparing a balanced meal:

  • 1 to 2 servings of protein, the size of a palm
  • 1 to 2 carbohydrate servings, the size of a handful
  • 1 to 2 servings of healthy fat, about the size of a thumb
  • 1+ fist-sized servings of vegetables

Mini-fridges in hotel rooms and cooler bags are a great place to store:

  • Cold cuts for sandwiches and wraps
  • Pre-packaged vegetables and hummus
  • Pre-packaged flavored tuna sachets
  • Whole fruits like berries, oranges, apples
  • Pre-packaged fruit salads
  • Greek yogurts in single serving

These foods can be stored at room temperature and used to build the foods you love:

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Whole grain wraps
  • Lawyers
  • Peanut or almond butter
  • Bananas
  • Single serving microwaveable oatmeal (just add hot water)
  • Protein bars and nut-based bars
  • Mixed nuts

Always pack nutritional supplements

Be sure to pack a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and save snacks in a separate bag, like your gym bag. Shop for your favorite granola bars, trail mixes and protein bars that don’t need to be refrigerated and keep them in your bag so you always have something on hand.

Eat at the gas station or at the airport shop

Sometimes a convenience store is your only option. Not serious. Try to eat whole fruits like apples, oranges or bananas first. Beyond that, aim for better, not perfect.

Create a decent gas station or airport store meal with this template:

  • 1 to 2 servings of protein, the size of a palm
  • 1-2 handfuls of carbohydrates
  • 1 to 2 thumb-sized servings of fat
  • Added bonus: vegetables

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