Snacking is part of a college students daily life. Choosing snacks that enhance recovery and performance can be a challenge. There are cookies, candy bars, chips and smoothies around campus but they do not provide the nutrition quality needed by athletes. Snacks for athletes need to include protein and good crabs. Limit the candy and sweetened beverages to avoid hypoglycemic reactions pre and post workouts.
Here are some great snacks for performance and/or recovery:
- Greek Yogurt & Fresh Fruit
- Chocolate Milk & Fresh Fruit
- Clif Bar
- Peanut Butter & Banana
- Peanut Butter & Apple
- Low-Fat Milk & Raisin Bran Cereal
Eat these snack post workout to prepare your body for the next workout or game.
Does drinking coffee have any health benefits? It is estimated that 78% of college students drink coffee. Black coffee has two calories per 8 oz. cup and provides small amounts of potassium, magnesium and niacin. Adding milk to a cup of coffee boosts the calcium and vitamin D content of the beverage, too.
It is recommended that coffee consumption be limited to two to three cups a day. This is 16-24 ounces which a safe quantity for most people. If coffee intake exceeds this amount, secondary issues such as heart rate increases, headaches, and dehydration may occur. As an athlete hydrate with water throughout the day and try not to consume coffee in excess. This will prevent any negative side effects of that “cup of joe”. Fuel smart!
Apple cider vinegar has been promoted as a weight loss enhancer for years. “Take a swig in the morning and watch the pounds melt away”. The marketing is great but the weight loss benefits of apple cider vinegar have not been proven in scientific research. Taking apple cider vinegar may give a placebo effect for those who believe in its benefits. The research just isn’t there. If you decide to take apple cider vinegar or have been taking apple cider vinegar be aware of these facts.
- Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and harsh—do not drink it without diluting it first
- Drinking undiluted apple cider vinegar on a long-term basis can erode dental enamel, damaging the teeth and the tissues in your throat and mouth
- One study found a woman who got an apple cider vinegar supplement stuck in her throat, which resulted in permanent damage to her esophagus
- Vinegar has caused contact burns to the skin
Long term use of apple cider vinegar is not recommended since there are negative side effects.
It can be difficult to drink enough fluids to meet performance needs. Practicing and working out can deplete your body of water. There are foods to choose that will help you hydrate when the heat is on. FFC offers many fruit and vegetable choices. The best fruit for hydration are watermelon, oranges, peaches, cantaloupe and pineapple. Vegetables that contain water are lettuce, cucumbers, celery and tomatoes. Lastly, jello and slushies will also add extra fluids to help rehydrate your body. Be smart and hydrate throughout the day.
Blueberries are available year round. They are a nutrient packed fruit that contains nutrients for brain health. Researchers have found that one cup of blueberries improved the learning capacity and motor skills of rats. Blueberries provide about 25% of a day’s worth of vitamin C. There is three grams of fiber in each cup.
At the grocery store check the blueberries for mold and that they do not stick to the container. They are best eaten soon after purchasing. They do not ripen like a banana. Add blueberries to oatmeal, a smoothie, or a salad. They are a great addition at meals or a snack for a healthy brain!