Eating Before A Long Practice and Healthy Break-Time Snacks
From my experience, I have learned that eating right before gymnastics practice does not allow a gymnast to reach their fullest practicing potential. Eating too close to a workout can cause indigestion. A gymnast will not be able to perform at their top level because the food will just be sitting in their stomach, making them feel lazy. Eating 1 to 3 hours prior to any gymnastic activity is the most accurate amount of time an athlete needs to fully digest their food. What are the best foods to eat prior to training? We all know that energy is one of the most essential factors all gymnasts need to make it through a long successful practice and that energy source is carbohydrates. Mixing in fiber or protein with the carbohydrates will give you additional energy. The amount of food intake is also very important. LARGE portions are a NO NO! A gymnast should eat enough food that will make them feel satisfied. It is important to not eat too much prior to a training session because that will make them feel uncomfortable and sluggish.
-Here are some foods that could provide a gymnast with a necessary amount of energy:
o Whole-grain bread, pretzels, or crackers
o Whole-grain pastas or brown rice
o Chicken, turkey, or tofu
o Apples, bananas, or oranges
o Yogurt or low-fat cheeses
o Carrots or cucumbers
-Here are some foods/ beverages a gymnast should avoid before practice:
· High fat content foods will cause a gymnast to become sluggish and heavy feeling:
o Granola bars
· Caffeine can cause headaches and muscle tremors in gymnasts:
o Coffee (Iced or regular)
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things an athlete can do during practice. This means, keep the water flowing. Fruits are the best snacks a gymnast can eat during practice because they have high water content.
-Here are some of the healthiest fruits a gymnast can eat during break at practice:
o Apples, oranges, melons, or grapes
It is very important that athletes, especially gymnasts, follow a healthy eating regimen.