My favorite analogy about nutrition is one that says, an athlete is like a Lamborghini, premium fuel is required. Just like the car, the best food (fuel) choices are necessary for optimal on-field performance.
Post training nutrition focus is equally as important- what does your child need during the recovery process? As the burning of calories occurs, it is important to refuel with the right food. First and foremost- upon completion of a strenuous training session, it is imperative to ‘hydrate up’, so do not forget to drink water- before, during and after your kid’s workouts. After an intense training session, nourishing your athlete’s body with nutritious options is your goal, while reducing muscle soreness.
Let’s look at our favorite post workout recovery foods.
Berries, berries, berries– it really does not matter which berries you eat after a training session, the antioxidants and vitamin combination found in blueberries will aid you post-workout. A study by Associate Professor Steve Stannard of Massey School of Sport and Exercise examined post-workout blueberry (from New Zealand) consumption. In this 10 participant study, he noted that blueberries showed an improved muscle rate of recovery in the first 36 hours after a strenuous workout. Think of blueberries has little blue warriors for our health- the polyphenols in blueberries act as bullets to ward off inflammation causing free radicals.
Oatmeal (rolled oats / steel cut)- isn’t just for breakfast. Add oatmeal into a smoothie, create cookies, get creative in recipes with this super food. I love the Vitamin B mix in oatmeal for its anti-inflammatory, muscle recovery benefits. There’s a carbohydrates to protein ratio of two to one with oatmeal, that gives a balance of nutrition for recovery. This staple food choice is a great for your post-workout hungry kids. Oatmeal is a meal that will fill you up thanks to its abundance of fiber, and the added benefit is that it is easily customizable (add fruits instead of sugar for an even greater effect).
Sweet potatoes– great source of complex carbohydrates, one of the best fuels for us. These colorful vegetable is rich in vitamin A (for better vision), and bone health. These complex carbs are digested slower, keeping us full for longer. Your kids will be happily satisfied after their football training sessions.
Pumpkin Seeds- great post training snack food that is delicious. Think zinc (and also magnesium). Zinc is widely known as an energy boosting mineral- this will aid us back to normalcy after a tough workout There’s a crunchy shell around a pumpkin seed that contains an extra punch of nutritional power, be sure to eat that as well.
Almonds– just a handful will do the trick. Many nuts, such as almonds, are a good source of omega-3’s and 6’s, which help maintain a healthy immune system.