The Lacrosse Athlete’s Guide to Sports Nutrition
This post originally appeared at New York Lizards blog
Positive sports nutrition habits are proven to boost athletes’ strength, speed and endurance. Our nutrition guide shows lacrosse players how to fuel their bodies before, during and after a workout or game.
Pre-Exercise Sports Nutrition Tips
It is suggested that athletes eat a small meal or snack two hours before exercising to boost energy. We recommend a pre-exercise meal or snack containing foods that are high in carbohydrates, because they are proven to increase endurance. A pre-exercise meal or snack that is high in carbohydrates keeps energy levels high, while preventing hunger. However, try to avoid sugary or starchy foods a half hour before an activity, because they accelerate dehydration.
Skip foods that are high in fat, protein and fiber, because they take longer to digest and may cause stomach upset.
How to keep hydrated
Most importantly, athletes should drink plenty of liquids before a workout or game, because sweating causes a loss of fluids and electrolytes.
- 16 ounces of water or sports drink about one to two hours before exercising
- 5 ounces of liquids 10-15 minutes prior to beginning workout
Suggestion for a pre-exercise meal
Light pre-exercise meals help avoid cramping. Salads are a popular choice. La Bottega Gourmet, which has locations all over Long Island, has many varieties of tasty, nutrient rich salads. Our favorite salad is the Insalata Di Pere, which has mixed greens, red pears, gorgonzola and toasted pecans.
Post-Exercise Sports Nutrition Tips
Sports nutritionists recommend athletes drink a carbohydrate-containing beverage, like a sports drink, to replace electrolytes after working out. Since it’s best for athletes to limit their intake of these type of drinks, another alternative is juice, which contains more carbohydrates, potassium and nutrients. Milk is also great to drink with a meal, because its balance of protein and carbohydrates fuels a body’s recovery.
Carbohydrate-rich foods are also highly suggested for a post-exercise meal, which should be an hour or two after finishing exercising. Adding protein to a post exercise meal repairs and strengthens muscle tissue faster.
How to keep hydrated
After exercise, it’s important that athletes consume plenty of fluids to replenish lost liquids. Instead of water, drink beverages that contain carbohydrates soon after a workout.
- 16-24 ounces for every pound of weight lost during a workout.
Suggestion for a post-exercise meal
Many athletes choose pasta as a post-exercise meal. This carbohydrate-rich food replenishes lost nutrients and prepares the body for the next day’s work out. Noodles & Company in Westbury specializes in high-quality pasta. Our favorite is the Penne Rosa, which has a spicy tomato cream sauce, penne pasta, mushrooms, spinach and parmesan.
Everyday Sports Nutrition Tips
- Nutritionists recommend a diet that receives 70 percent of its calories from carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, pasta, fruits and vegetables.
- Fruits and fruit juices are good alternatives to sports bars and drinks.
- For protein, choose lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans or eggs.
Suggestion for an everyday meal
Great athletes eat healthy every day. For lunch, we suggest wraps over heros. The Garden City Bistro has a wide selection of wraps, including the Chicken Veggie Wrap, which has an assortment of vegetables, roasted red onions, field greens and basil over grilled chicken.
By following our nutrition tips, lacrosse athletes’ healthy bodies can perform at the top of their game at all times.
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