We’ve talked about what to eat before and after practice, but what about those crazy long pre-game practices, or double-header days, or tournaments? What should you bring with you to the arena on game day, other than your gear and killer instinct?
Here are some ideas to make you the nutrition star of your change room:
First of all – make sure you have lots of water, and keep hydrating throughout the day – once at the arena, through the practice, and following it. Carry your water bottle with you constantly, and keep refilling it. How much water is enough? Check it out!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, bringing a protein shake, drinking half before practice and half during or after is a great way to both fuel your activity and make sure that you have the nutrients you need for recover afterwards. For a boss shake, combine 30-60g protein (1-2 scoops), 1-2 handfuls of fruit, 1-2 handfuls of veggies, 1-2 thumbs-worth of healthy fat, liquid to blend. Add a topper if you’re fancy – oats (for carbs), yogurt (for protein), coconut, cinnamon, or cacao nibs (for taste).
If shakes aren’t your thing, orange slices and watermelon wedges will give you the kick of carbs you’re craving, and will help to hydrate since they both have a high water content. Combine that with some Greek yogurt for protein and some seeds and nuts for healthy fat, and you’ve got yourself a pretty great practice snack.
If that’s just too many things to remember to bring, you can make yourself an all-in-one sports performance bar!
- 1/4 natural peanut butter
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (omit if you don’t like it too sweet)
- nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut as your heart desires
Mix peanut butter, protein powder, honey or syrup and add-ins into cooked rice. Press into wax-paper lined 8×8 baking pan. Cool in fridge overnight – I didn’t let mine set long enough (and also slightly overcooked my rice) and they were pretty mushy, but still delish! So, let them set for a long time. Cut, wrap, and toss in your gear bag to go!
If you know you have a long derby day in store, eat foods that are familiar, and make you feel good and ready for action. Make it easy on yourself and pack a cooler in advance to take to the arena. If you have a cooler full of delicious, healthy snacks that you eat when you feel hungry, you’re far less likely to end practice ravenous and looking for anything at all to curb your hunger. A little bit of advance planning goes a long way.
Also, having a practice-day nutrition plan will really help refine your game-day nutrition. You can develop a routine that coincides with your pre-game ritual – have one for home and one for travel. That way you don’t have to think about nutrition on game day. You already know what you’re going to do, you just have to go and do it – just like you will on the track.
What snacks keep you going through long derby days? Share them here!