This page was reviewed or revised on Thursday, August 27, 2015 10:06 AM
When you play a sport, you always make sure you have the right equipment, like a glove for baseball, cleats for soccer and skates for hockey. Without it, you couldn't play the game very well. But how do you help your game from the inside out? The right foods and drinks can help you be a better athlete.
Everyone, including athletes, needs to eat a variety of healthy foods:
How much food you need depends on your age, gender and the amount of time you spend being active or training for your sport. Attending a soccer practice can be intense or a light workout, depending on a variety of factors. Do you practice two hours a week or 12? That will make a difference in the amount of food you need to be healthy and stay active.
Athletes need to drink water before, during and after exercise. Don't wait until you are thirsty. When people sweat, they lose water through their skin. Sweating cools the body down, but if you lose too much water through sweating, you could become dehydrated. If you are dehydrated you won't feel well or perform well. Serious dehydration can make you sick enough that you may need to go to the hospital for treatment.
Water is the best choice. Fruit juice mixed with water is another refreshing drink. Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks, especially those with caffeine. A sports drink should be only used once in a while, but remember these drinks have added sugar. A sports drink is ok if you are exercising vigorously for more than an hour or in very hot weather.
Parents and coaches are important role models for children and youth. The popularity of sports in our community provides a great opportunity for parents and coaches to encourage the importance of healthy eating in addition to physical activity. Sport teams promote physical activity, but may not always offer healthy food choices. By offering healthy food choices, players can play at their best!
For information on sports nutrition visit Coaching Association of Canada.
Recreational facilities are often the cornerstone of many communities. They are home to some of the largest populations of youth outside of the school setting as well as gathering places for parents and older adults. Recreation facilities already play a vital role in keeping Lambton County residents healthy by providing safe, public spaces for physical activity. When healthy food options are also available at these facilities, it can have a strong impact on the health of the community.
This video encourages people to pause and think differently about offering unhealthy food at school and at community sports events.
Lambton Public Health can help you make the healthy choice the easy choice at recreation centres.
Contact us for information about: