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Healthy Eating Tips



Note: Drinks containing high fructose corn syrup, fructose, corn syrup, and caffeine can contribute to dehydration!

  • Water
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Sports drinks

The day before a contest

Eating and getting hydrated 24 hours prior to the big game is HUGE for an athlete to be clicking on all cylinders. Consider doing a team event like Pizza or Pasta Night or Road Show, where you'll go to a different person's house for a different portion of the meal. Not only can you ensure that your athletes are eating healthy before contests, but these activities build team chemistry with your athletes AND their parents. The day before a game, encourage athletes to drink plenty of fluid. They should always drink when thirsty, but better yet is to drink enough water so that they WON'T get thirsty.

What to eat at tournaments

Don't encourage athletes to eat large meals between games OR get hot dogs and nachos from the concession stand. DO have them take in some carbohydrates in an easily digestible form. Snacks or small meals are best during tournaments where multiple games are played in one day.

Fast Food on the Road

  • When traveling, encourage parents to pack coolers with healthy food choices.
  • Stop at a nice restaurant where they have REAL hamburgers.
  • Subway is a good choice for lean meat sandwiches.
  • Pizza, (easy on the cheese) is another good fuel.

This information is adapted from Coaching Principles online course and the book Fuel For Young Athletes by Ann Litt from Human Kinetics Inc. (