How Can I Maintain My Energy Levels?

Posted on: October 11th 2021

Get Ready! We’re about to fuel up and roll out! Lunch and snacks help you continue to roll steady throughout the day by maintaining your energy levels and keeping that metabolism going. Be sure that the meal choices you are making are packing a punch: you need macronutrients!

Your Three New Best Friends: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats (Yes, Fats!)


On top of being important for body regeneration and system functioning, eating protein also releases glucagon, a hormone that tells your liver to release stored carbohydrates from your body’s glycogen stores and from fat. It also inhibits insulin release (insulin is a hormone that encourages fat storage). When we talk about needing to eat protein to help burn fat, this is what we’re talking about. There are about 20 different amino acids needed by the body, and 9 of them (the essential amino acids) need to be acquired from food. If your body doesn’t get the right amount of protein, it will actually start breaking down muscle tissue to feed itself – not what you want for better derby performance!

An appropriate amount of protein for an active person aiming to gain muscle is roughly one gram per day, per pound of bodyweight. It’s slightly less for those who want to maintain or who want to lose fat.


Carbs get a bad rap – but your body needs carbohydrates to survive. They give you your energy stores and are your best source of continuous energy. Basically, carbs are sugar and starch which your body converts into glucose molecules to be used for immediate energy needs to be stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. The more active you are, the quicker you go through your reserves of glycogen, but you need to be careful to eat the right type of carbs at the right time to keep your energy balance.

When your body has too much glucose that cannot be used for energy needs or stored as glycogen, the body converts it and stores it as fat. Eating carbs in moderate amounts throughout your day ensures that you’ll have an even source of energy through the day and that your reserves will be kept intact. Make sure you’re eating a lots of leafy greens for both dietary fiber and healthy carbs – they’ll help you to feel full, give you all sorts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, help to promote a healthy digestive system and keep you regular, and are generally one of the cornerstones to a complete healthy diet.

Fats (Yes, REALLY.)

Fats are more calorically dense than proteins or carbs, so it’s really important to be getting them from whole, healthy sources. When you’re eating the right fats, they will actually help your body get rid of stored fat.

Balance is the key to fat intake. There are three types of fat: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) raise good HDL cholesterol, lower bad LDL cholesterol, and protect against the buildup of plaque in your arteries. You can find this type of fat in nuts, seeds, avocados, peanuts, olives.

Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are divided into two categories – Omega 3s and Omega 6s. Omega 6 is found in vegetable oils, whereas Omega 3 is found in fish, krill and algae oils. Our balance between the two types of PUFAs should be roughly 1:1, but with much of our meat coming from feedlot animals, and many processed foods containing vegetable oil products, a typical diet can often look more like 20:1. To better your health and performance, cut the processed food, up your fish intake and take your fish oil!

You’ll want to keep your intake to about a third of your diet for each type of fat. The Western diet tends to skew very heavily towards saturated fat, so be mindful and get a good deal of your fat intake from the other two types.

Okay, so now that you’ve got a macronutrient lesson, what does that look like in a meal or snack? Look no further, here are ACTUAL recipes from our DerbyFuel plan:

Tabouli (6 servings) (Great for any time, but especially as a snack)

  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ C mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 C fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 tbsp EVOO
  • ½ C lemon juice

Combine everything together in a large bowl, and toss until mixed completely.

125 calories; 2 g protein; 10 g carbohydrates; 10 g fat

For extra protein, serve with chicken, tuna or vegetarian protein source.

Steak Cobb Salad (Great for any time, but especially for Lunch)

  • 3 oz. steak (optional)
  • 1 hardboiled egg
  • 1 slice bacon (optional)
  • 1.5 tbsp vinaigrette
  • 2 C mixed greens
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 1⁄4 avocado, diced
  • 1⁄4 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp red onion, finely diced

Pre-grill steak and hard boil egg. Fry (or use pre-cooked) bacon. While bacon is cooking, mix chopped veggies, greens

and vinaigrette. Top with sliced steak and egg, crumbled bacon.

430 calories; 19 g protein; 26 g carbohydrates; 29 g fat

Most of our recipes are great for any meal, and a few are perfect post-workout recipes. Many options, can be made ahead and frozen for an easy, reheatable and healthy meal or snack later!

Roller Derby Athletics’ DerbyFuel is a four-week healthy eating plan that can be tailored to your needs. With the DerbyFuel Clean Eating System, you’ll learn:

  • How to save time and money by prepping your meals in advance
  • How to make healthy meals that taste fabulous
  • How to adjust your meal planning for life events – tournaments, travel and so on
  • How to set realistic and actionable goals and how to stick with them
  • And much more, read about it here!

DerbyFuel is included for MVP Members.  Essential Plan members save $$. 

See above for links to the member-only signup pages!

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