Nutrition: The Real MVP!

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We all know that nutrition is an important player in any sport, but have you considered the role that snacking can play on and off the field? This past Friday Gourmet Gorilla hosted the Chicago Kics United Soccer team, where the players learned all about how healthy snacking can give them an edge in their games!

The night began with the young all-stars watching a video on healthy eating and sports, followed by a discussion on two important parts of any any athlete's menu; carbohydrates and protein, and how to integrate them into your snacking routine. Two important components of healthy snacking are power snacks, which are rich in carbohydrates and proteins, and energy boost snacks, which are great for getting in those necessary carbohydrates. Our team member and resident dietitian, Samantha Sullivan, walked the players through the snacking timeline of when to have a power snack versus an energy boosting snack. Have a game starting in an hour or two and want staying power to outlast your opponent on the field? Try putting together a power snack like a smoothie or fruit with nut butter. Have thirty minutes before you game starts and want an extra jump start to give you the advantage? Try a energy boosting snack like a small bag of pretzels or half a cup of yogurt to help you start your game strong. Just won the big game and looking to celebrate while replenishing your empty energy stores? Make another power snack like a bean and cheese quesadilla with your teammates to celebrate a job well done!

The night was finished off with a recap on the importance of healthy eating and a sampling of two power snacks; the Strawberry Banana Stamina smoothie and the Mighty Mercy Sunbutter Smoothie, both excellent choices for healthy snacking!

It’s important for athletes to keep a healthy diet for their performances both on the field and off of it. In addition to working power and energy boost snacks into your diet during game time, be sure to eat a variety of foods during the off season and in between games as well, including lean proteins, whole grains, dairy, healthy fats, and fruits and veggies. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water!