Top Dietary Tips For On-The-Go Young Athletes

Nutrition is a valuable part of a young athlete’s health and safety. Proper nutrients provide energy, focus, and longevity for the day. Without an acceptable daily intake, high-performance tasks like running, jumping, or any form of athletic exercise would drain our bodies and leave us physically incapable of executing significant tasks. 


Children’s bodies are still in development from the moment they are born to their young adult lives making adequate nutrients essential to optimal health, building strong bones, fueling their sports performance, and increasing their recovery periods. If you or your child is a busy athlete with tough schedule times, sometimes eating right or prepping for meals ahead of time isn’t plausible. Don’t let lack of time get in the way of proper nourishment. In today’s blog, The Rocky Mount Event Center presents the top dietary tips for on-the-go athletes. 


Plan Ahead of Time

Calendar planning is a parent’s best friend for their young athletic children. Between work, school schedules, sports practices, game days, and parents maintaining their health, balancing all these duties is quite challenging. The best way to tackle these tasks efficiently is to schedule and plan for the following days, including mealtimes. Start small with the week and work your way to more days once you get into a consistent scheduling rhythm. 


Meal prep for the entire week if possible. Packing foods into Tupperware containers is great for young athletes on the go. If meal prepping is not plausible for weekend tournaments, pack as many healthy non-perishable foods as you can, like granola bars, dried fruits, or nut butter. Sometimes the drive-thru is necessary when you’re hungry and far away from home. If you plan to get fast food, make intelligent decisions by ordering more grilled chicken meals, apple slices, and low-fat dishes instead of the latter. 


Charge With Carbs 

Carbohydrates are essential sugars for building energy and keeping athletes fueled long-term. Stay energized with whole wheat bread, pasta, and beans. Something as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a quick pick me up for a young athlete before or after a game. 


Food Fundamentals 

When traveling for a competition, it is easy to fall off the bandwagon and eat quick fat-induced foods for a weekend travel tournament. Foods high in fats and rancid oils can affect athletic performance, even for a short weekend. Ways to combat this temptation are focusing on the food fundamentals and determining what will keep them sustained for a more extended period. 


The American Heart Association breaks down the necessary food groups and portion sizes for small meals young athletes may consume throughout their day. Knowing which foods are beneficial to daily health will help prep athletes make smarter decisions and find travel-sized variants of these edible selections. 


Determine Your Daily Intake

There are many calories individuals must consume daily based on their height, weight, and activities. High-performance athletes consume more calories than their less active peers balancing input to their output of nutrients. Too much or too few calories can cause sluggishness or fatigue. 


Determine daily intake for athletes on the go to maintain their body’s caloric needs. For digestion, the body needs 2 to 3 hours to digest a meal before a game. Keep snacks at hand as game time approaches.  


Locate Snacks

Sometimes we can’t have a full course meal all hours of the day during weekend travel tournaments. When athletes prepare for a long day, packing snacks will keep them going for the long haul. Great snack options for young athletes can be found at our local snack stand. We adhere to healthy organic diets. 


Stay Hydrated 

Hydration is a significant part of an athlete’s diet and is critical to their safety and performance during a game. Athletes should consume fluids 2 to 4 hours before a match and maintain endurance, stamina, and oxygen levels. For heavy sweating, investing in sports drinks is beneficial for keeping electrolytes. 


Let Rocky Mount Event Center Host Your Team Event 

Our team understands how important nutrition is for young athletes during long weekend tournaments. We pack our indoor facility with foods and snacks in our concession stand to keep your teen athlete or team members going. For more information about our tournament hosting, call (252)-231-3490 or contact us online