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Summer Workouts – Do Not Train On Empty

Empty Tank My own daughter learned a really tough lesson this morning – you can not train on empty!

This is the first week of morning practices at gymnastics for the summer and rather than taking the time to eat breakfast, pack a snack or make her lunch … like her Mother (that’s me) asked her to, my daughter (who is almost 12) decided to take her time getting ready, fix her hair, and turned her nose up at the breakfast selections I had for her. I made a whole batch of cranberry orange muffins this morning – which two of my three kids gladly ate – but, no, she did not like them. She also decided the banana she was offered would not work either.  She passed on the eggs, too.

So around 10 a.m. – one hour into her 3 hour gymnastics workout, she tells me she is feeling tired, weak and sick to her stomach (I coach at the same gym, but don’t coach her). Hmmm, maybe you should have had some of that breakfast. I offered her some of my pasta salad that I had packed. Nope, not interested. A teammate shared some pretzels and grapes with her and she came and got some money to get an energy drink, and then she perked up.

The moral of this story – picky eater or not, it is absolutely critical to fuel your body for the sports you do – especially if you have a long, morning work out!

As a parent it is can be difficult to make sure your athlete is getting everything they need and is properly fueled – and picky eaters don’t help matters any. After practice we had a little discussion and talked about the foods she likes and doesn’t and decided that planning her pre-practice meals ahead of time might help prevent this from happening again.

Sports Nutrition Resources:

Don’t forget to hydrate, too! While water is the best for hydrating your athlete, there are times when sports drink (recipes to make your own sports drink) does come in handy – for extra calories, a quick burst of energy during a long work out, and for picky athletes. I do like the new lower sugar options – like Powerade Play (which we recently had the opportunity to review) – the flavor is light, not too sweet and the extra electrolytes and calories do come in handy for long practices, outdoor practices and games.

Categories : Nutrition

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