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Parents…how many of you have a child involved in a sporting event this weekend?
Baseball, gymnastics, dance, soccer, lacrosse, running, swimming/diving…

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If you are interested in an article on what your child should NOT be eating before sports, click here. More importantly, I wanted to touch on some food items that are BENEFICIAL to your young athlete

#1 – Energy drinks. To put it simply, most of them are filled with garbage, caffeine and artificial sweeteners.  Take note also that energy drinks (ie – Red Bull) are often confused with sports drinks (ie – Gatorade).  However, unless your child is exercising vigorously for over a couple of hours, they should be fine with water or try infusing a pitcher of water with lemons, limes, oranges or all 3!

#2 – Fried and fatty foods. This is self-explanatory. Foods like this are like eating a brick before the game. Energy will be used to digest the food and not for working muscles to run faster or hit harder. Choose a better option like a turkey sandwich, smoothie or banana with peanut butter.

#3 – Sugary foods. Feed them high sugar foods and they will be ready to crash ½ way through the game. A combo of healthy carbs and protein is a good option – try a pre-game egg and turkey sandwich on whole wheat or oatmeal with fruit and nuts.

#4 – Soft drinks. Just stay away. Refer to #1.IMG_5259

#5 – High fiber foods. We certainly don’t want the boys gassing up the dugout or a dancer with stomach cramps while she is doing a plie. Citrus fruits, lean protein and nuts are some good choices to fuel up pre-game.

#6 – Processed foods. We all know how kids like to snack, but if we want them playing their best – staying away from the canned, frozen and boxed items is a good idea.
Tip: Most of your grocery shopping should be the perimeter of the grocery store & the LESS ingredients, the better it is for you.

#7 – High salt foods. Sodium intake should be under 1500mg per day.
Putting that into perspective:
– a ball park hot dog is over 550mg
– a small slice of pepperoni pizza is over 600mg
 – a single serving of potato chips (15 chips) is almost 200mg
**Refer to #2.

#8 – Alcohol. I am fairly certain we don’t have to worry about this one with the kids! However, adults involved in sports or a race…enjoy your beer or bloody mary after the game 😉

#9 – Milk. Pre-game, not such a great idea. Post-game, chocolate milk is a great option! Chocolate milk has the perfect carb/protein content and is actually one of the best ways to replenish tired muscles. **Note: I am not talking Yahoo – of which the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup! I am not really sure how that stuff is even labeled “milk.”**

Now fuel up, get out there and kick some butt this weekend, athletes!lake norman bulldogs 1

**This list focuses on pre and post game snacks. You can find more healthy options for general kids snacks on the Fit Envy NC website – Kids Snacks **

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