How to Use Food and Fluid for a Winning Game

Carbohydrates = Muscle Fuel    55-65% of Diet

Eat quality carbs: whole grains including brown rice, whole wheat, popcorn, barley, oats, whole corn, millet

 Chicken Salad
  • Whole Grains: bread, pasta, bagels, rice, tortillas (6+ servings daily of whole grains)
  • Fruit: all types (2 cups or 3-4 pieces daily)
  • Vegetables: all types (2.5 cups daily)
  • Cereal: boxed or cooked (5+ g fiber/serving)
  • Potatoes: cooked white potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • Sports Drinks: all varieties, carbohydrate supplement drinks
  • Avoid Simple Sugars: fast food, junk food, processed foods

Protein = Builds Muscle   20-25% of Diet

How to Use Food and Fluid Best Protein Sources: Soy, Fish, Egg, Lean Meats, Dairy (Cottage Cheese, Yogurt), Vegetarian Combinations

 Chicken Wrap
  • Fish (tuna in water)
  • Beans & grains (bean burritos, lentil-rice soup)
  • Lean beef, pork (ground)
  • Poultry (frozen or canned)
  • Eggs, egg whites
  • Low fat dairy (milk, cottage cheese, yogurt)
  • Soy (burgers, soy milk)
  • Protein powders (whey, soy, casein)

Fats = Long-term Energy 15-20% of Diet

Essential Fats: 1-2 Teaspoons per Day of Omega-3 or Omega-6 Fats Best Oil Sources: Nuts, Flaxseed Meal/Oil, Fish, Canola & Soy Oil

  Nut and Fruits Good Sources Choose These Less Often 
  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Fish
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Margarine
  • Butter
  • Fried foods
  • Creamy sauces
  • Chips, crackers
  • Full-fat dairy

Fluids for a Winning Game

Liquids = Hydration 8 - 10 oz.   Every 20 Minutes If Intense Activity

              Water Battle  Early Warning Signs of Dehydration Water vs. Sports Drinks
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Poor concentration
  • Flushed skin
  • Light-headedness
  • Dark urine
  • Muscle cramps
  • Both provide fluid: before/during exercise.
  • Sports drinks: Carbs in sports drinks boost energy, so drink before and during exercise.
  • After exercise: For the first hour, use sports drink to replenish energy, and then drink other fluids.
  • Energy drinks: Avoid use during workouts because the carbohydrate content is too high.

Game Eating + Post Workout

Chocolate Milk’s Hidden Talents   In The Bag — Bring These to the Game Your Muscles Need Recovery Nutrients
  • High Quality Protein For Muscle Recovery
  • Carbs
  • Hydration
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Carbs: fresh fruit, dried fruit, crackers
  • Fluids: water, fitness water, sport drink
  • Protein: “travel sandwich” (PB&J), cheese, protein bar, hard boiled eggs
  • Eat carbs and lean protein for muscle repair and immune health
  • Optimize recovery by eating right away. Muscles are most receptive during the first hour after exercise.
  • Ideas: milk, nuts, yogurt, smoothie

Suggested School Meals

Breakfast Ideas  Lunch Ideas  2-4 Hours before Exercise
2 eggs
1-2 slices whole wheat bread
1 piece of fruit
1 cup skim milk

1 cup cereal
1 cup milk
1 whole wheat bagel with low-fat cheese
1 piece of fruit
1 bean and chicken burrito
1 cup skim milk
1 cup veggie soup
1 cookie

Turkey sandwich (stuffed with veggies)
1 cup skim milk

2 fish tacos
1 cup black beans
½ cup salsa
1 cup skim milk
  • Pick high carb, low fat items
  • Select moderate protein (milk, light sandwich)
  • Stick with favorites!

Avoid the Athlete’s “Garbage Disposal” Theory:

I’m an athlete. I practice & work out every day. I’m burning up tons of calories. I can eat whatever I want because I’m fit—I’ll just burn it all up.
Tip-Keep good food in your fridge and you will eat good food
Don’t Believe It ...

If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.

Quick Energy Snacks

Cranberry Oat Bars Recipe


1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups almonds (6 ounces), chopped

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup unbleached
all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/3 cups dried cranberries, chopped

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Toast oats and nuts in another baking pan, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 12 minutes.
  3. Mix butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Mix in eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Whisk together flour, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda, then mix into butter mixture until incorporated. Stir in oats, pecans, cranberries and chocolate chips. Spread in buttered pan.
  4. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, and then cut into bars.
  • Substitute almonds with pecans, walnuts, or other tree nuts.
  • Use your favorite combination of dried fruit.
  • Serve with a glass of milk for a snack or with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

Energy Bars Recipe


1 cup raw, shelled nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans)

1/3 cup pitted Medjool dates

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon honey

1 pinch sea salt
  1. Process nuts into a fine meal using a food processor.
  2. Add dates, vanilla, cacao, honey, and salt, and then process again until the mixture forms a dough that holds together when squeezed between two fingers.
  3. Roll the dough into balls or, with a rolling pin, flatten it and cut into 1-inch-thick squares.
  4. Store in refrigerator for up to one week or in freezer for up to one month.

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