If your child goes to a game or scrimmage without having eaten, he or
she will not have the energy to play at his/her full potential. A meal 2 to 3 hours before the game made up mostly of carbohydrate-rich foods provides the fuel for sports.
At all day events or tournaments, stopping at a grocery or convenience store is usually a better bet than the concession stand, which typically offers foods that are high in fat, (e.g. nacho chips, cheese fries, and hot dogs) and are expensive. Many supermarkets have a soup and salad bar with a variety of healthy foods. With guidance from parents and coaches, young athletes can find healthy, high carbohydrate, low fat foods in every aisle of the store.
Studies have shown that adequate dietary carbohydrates must be consumed on a daily basis, especially after exercise, to restore levels of carbohydrates (glycogen) which, as the preferred fuel for most types of exercise, is required for peak athletic performance. So what foods are rich in carbohydrates? Check out our list.
When you or your child athlete thinks of food, think about carbohydrates, such as the whole-grain products, vegetables, and fruits that make up three-fourths of the FDA's new MyPlate food guidance system.