Athletes are on the go. If you think eating right at home is hard, consider what you face when your next meal is selected for you. When the team bus stops, it may not be a food establishment with the healthiest choices.
Are you stuck to eat what they offer?
That’s up to you. You can keep control of what you eat if you are prepared and committed to doing so. No one said being the best is easy- it takes extra effort on your part all the way around. Take charge of what and where you eat with these tips:
1.) Try to change the foods that are offered or restaurant that is selected.
Find out who is in charge of selecting the restaurant or bringing the snacks/meals for the team. Talk to the coach or individual that is responsible for where the team eats and verbalize your concerns. If the coach is choosing the restaurant based on availability, a few team members may be able to research other options.
2.) Purchase a cooler and bring your own healthy performance food.
If packing your own food sounds like a pain, remember this: it’s not easy being the best! Not only does this allow you to eat right, it also allows you to eat at the proper times. You will not be forced to eat when the bus stops but rather when research shows us it is the best time to eat. Additionally, you can have other snacks available to consume throughout the day, especially right after the game to start the recovery process.
3.) Determine if you have access to a microwave to heat your food.
Restaurant will often heat up your food for you but you may come across a place that will not (an airport or an airplane will not heat your food so you will have to consider cold items.) It may be wise to bring a back up nut butter and jelly sandwich, yogurt or other cold food to consume just in case. As you get more experienced with taking responsibility for your own health, you get more creative. Eventually, this will be second nature and not such a big deal.
Remember that you do have choices when it comes to what you eat. Sometimes eating healthy takes more effort but in the end it is worth it. You can lead you team to success by taking control of what foods are available.