June 19th, 2011
Nails for breakfast: the diet of a flag football athlete
It’s game day! You strap on your flags, tie your cleats, grab your favorite football and head to the field. Racing out the door you realize you feel a little sluggish. No problem right? Just run by the nearest convenience store and grab your favorite brand of energy drink. But is this really the best choice for a picker-upper?
The most important meal of the day for any person, especially the athlete, is breakfast. Beginning the day with a balanced breakfast will help anyone wishing to increase performance and alertness during the day. The athlete who begins his day by not eating a balanced breakfast is essentially starving himself of the needed nutrients for a successful day. By ignoring breakfast, the athlete forces his body to play “catch-up” for the rest of the day. Along with a balanced breakfast, the athlete must must maintain a sufficient level of hydration. Supplying the muscles with an ample amount of water allows them to be more flexible and less susceptible to injury. The athlete who hydrates regularly will feel more energetic and alert on the field.
Along with a balanced breakfast and lots of water, every athlete must consume the proper amount of carbohydrates throughout the day. Carbohydrates equal energy in the body, and this translates to better performance on and off the field. Foods that are high in carbohydrates include pasta, bread, and fruit. A body well supplied with the proper nutrients will be much more tuned for high performance than the nutrient starved body. Eating is not the key to maintaining proper performance, but eating well is. The athlete who consumes large amounts of sugar in the form of “junk food” like chips, caffeine drinks, and candy bars will suffer in performance as well. These foods do not contain pure energy, and should be avoided at all cost to maintain a well balanced body.