Nutrition: Boost Your Energy!
Being a high school or collegiate athlete can be very time consuming and exhausting between going to school, practice, getting coached, and still having time to do your homework and have a social life. When you have just finished a workout or you are hungry in between activities, it is important to monitor what types of snacks you are eating to satisfy your hunger.
While most people think that the best way to attain a rapid surge of energy is by chugging a Redbull or grabbing a coffee, those types of drinks are the last thing you want to be putting into your body. A low calorie, healthy snack that is filled with nutrition is just what you need to power through your struggle for energy. Below is a list of energy boosting snacks that you can pick up at the store when you are feeling fatigued.
- Almonds and Walnuts: Almonds and walnuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein which help balance your blood sugar levels. The snack helps you feel fuller and is perfect for when you need a quick boost after a game or practice. Try picking up a healthy blend of nuts at your local grocery store. However, make sure you are only eating them as a snack instead of finishing the bag.
- Fresh Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is filled of probiotics which are needed for healthy digestion. They can help you build a strong immune system and boost your energy level. Try putting a little bit of bran cereal over your yogurt for extra taste for a mix of healthy snacks.
- Eggs: Between eating a plate of eggs for breakfast and having one or two as a snack, eggs are great to eat at any time because they are high in protein and iron. Eating eggs can give you energy that will last throughout the day, and has been proven to increase your brain function!
- Kale: Although it may not taste like cake, Kale is an unbelievable super food that should be added to every athlete’s diet. Kale is high in vitamins, minerals, calcium, and is a fantastic energy booster. If you are struggling to eat it because of its taste, cook it well in oil and balsamic vinegar. This should give it a little more flavor without adding any bad fats.
- Fruits: Most fruits are loaded with Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber which are perfect for when you need a post-workout energy boost. Apples, bananas, berries, and oranges are low in calories and have natural sugar instead of artificial. Bananas, specifically, are rich in potassium and help slow down digestion.
- Bran Cereal: Professional Stinson-Burt explains that “Bran flakes are full of energy producing B-vitamins, iron, and magnesium.” The fiber that you ingest with bran cereal will also help you feel fuller longer.
- Popcorn: No, we’re not talking about movie theatre popcorn that’s smothered in butter and salt. A low-fat microwavable bag of popcorn is low in calories and a lot healthier than a snack like pretzels. Popcorn is full of fiber and it is a whole grain.
- Ginger Tea: Ginger infused tea is filled with antioxidants and nutrients that can give you an afternoon boost. Not only does it boost your energy, but it helps fight cancer, protects against Alzheimer’s, stimulates your appetite, and relieves your tired muscles.
- Soy Chips: Rather than heading into the convenience store and grabbing a bag of unhealthy fat filled chips when you’re desperate for a snack, grab a bag of soy chips. The snack is referred to as "the salty, crunchy, snacky thing many of us want in a snack”. Filled with protein, they are a great source of energy.
- Quinoa: Known as the super grain of the future, quinoa is one of the most protein rich foods out there. It contains iron, fiber, magnesium, and does wonders for our body. If you search online for quinoa snacks, there are millions of ways you can make quinoa into a crispy bite or snack bar.
- Dark Chocolate: Although chocolate can be bad when you eat too much of it, having dark chocolate as a snack can provide you with enough energy to power through. With its source of iron and magnesium, eating a small amount of chocolate can boost your energy.