Fueling Your Adolescent Athlete, Part Two

Fueling your adolescent athlete in a nutritious and delicious way will help them perform to the best of their ability and will aid in the prevention of dehydration, injury and overall energy run-down.

Here are some snack suggestions to fuel your always on-the-go kid. These snacks can be packed before bedtime and stored in the fridge in a reusable snack bag so it can be grabbed quickly in the next morning before your athlete leaves for school. These snacks have the necessary nutrition to fuel them before and after they work out.

Nutrient dense fruits. Examples include bananas, mango, papaya, coconut, and dried apricots, raisins or prunes. These are higher calorie fruits are dense in nutrients and replace energy quickly after long periods of exercise.

Homemade trail-mix. My favorite trail-mix combination is coconut flakes, whole grain cereal, dried cranberries, raw almonds or cashews, and semi-sweet chocolate or carob chips. This combo contains all the food groups, and so munch on this pre- and post workout to optimize nutrition for stellar performance.

Carrot and celery sticks, apple slices and whole grain crackers with natural organic peanut or almond butter. Nut butters provide the protein to muscle repair and regrowth, while carrots, celery and crackers are a satisfying source of fiber, which helps maintain proper digestive function.

Whole grain tortilla chips and salsa. Salsa is a spicy solution that helps replace electrolytes lost in exercise.

Organic granola or granola bars. Quick and easy, granola satisfies the sweet tooth and provides the energy needed for intense exercise.

Pistachios.They’re rich in potassium, a mineral that is critical in maintaining fluid balance in the body.

Make your own electrolyte drink with hydrating fruits and vegetables. Add thinly sliced oranges, pineapples, peaches, pears, plums or watermelon to a large bottle of filtered water. Natural sugars and minerals will release from the fruits and jazz up that water, and replace electrolytes lost through perspiration. Add some herbs too, such as mint or basil, for extra pizazz!

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