Here's some travel team nutrition tips for sports parents, coaches and managers from my new book, Food Guide for Soccer-Tips & Recipes from the Pros:
- Remind each player to bring a supply of emergency food and fluids, including an extra large water bottle filled with water (remember, though, no fluids permitted when going through airport security).
- For airline travel, players should take one or two empty water bottles in their carry-on bag which should then be filled after they have passed through airport security (remember: security will confiscate any liquids!). Remember, too, the pressurization of the cabin air increases fluid losses, so dehydration can be a problem when the flight lasts several hours or longer. In fact, dehydration is thought to contribute to jet-lag. Consuming beverages containing caffeine increases the risk of dehydration because of the diuretic nature of such beverages. Athletes should ingest plenty of water, sports drinks, and fruit juices to replace fluid losses.
- If the team will be eating as a group, look for restaurants that offer a buffet-style meal, so each player can choose the foods she wants in the amounts she wants.
- Find restaurants immediately after arriving to your destination. Ask the manager if the kitchen can prepare to feed a large group (so you don't have to wait forever for service, call ahead) and if they can accommodate your group's sports food needs.
- Request pitchers of water be put on each table.
- Locate the local supermarket where a volunteer can buy snacks for the team. Ask for volunteers to organize team meals or snacks at game sites, if necessary.
- Give players fresh fruit, yogurt, granola bars, and juice boxes to eat in their hotel rooms so they won't be tempted to buy junk food from the vending machine.
- Remind players to not only keep a plastic zip lock bag of non-perishable snacks in their gear bag at all times, but to eat them!
Updated August 30, 2011
© Nancy Clark (article)
© MomsTeam.com, Inc. (video)
Nancy Clark is a best-selling author, and a trusted and internationally respected sports nutritionist . She counsels both causal exercisers and competitive athletes as part of her sports nutrition practice at Healthworks, a fitness center in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She is nutritional consultant to the Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer. Her new book, Food Guide for Soccer: Tips & Recipes from the Pros and other books, including her Sports Nutrition Guidebook and food guides for new runners, marathoners, and cyclists are available at www.nancyclarkrd.com and www.sportsnutritionworkshop.com.
Adapted from Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes