Stay in control of your sports nutrition plan and eat right when traveling with the team by implementing these tips.
For most athletes, traveling with the team is part of the sport. While it’s fun to be transported to away games, traveling can make sticking to a solid sports nutrition plan difficult. Especially if you’re not the one planning the meals and snacks. Unfortunately, relying on others to choose where and when you eat won’t always get you want you want or need.
The good news is, you can keep control of your meal choices. it just takes preparation. No one said being the best is easy – it takes extra effort and energy in all aspects of your sport. When the bus stops to eat, don’t hope that the restaurant has something that you want. Plan ahead and take control of the situation. Use the following tips to help.
Eat Right When Traveling By Participating In Where The Team Eats
If you want to make sure the team eats somewhere that you like, get involved. Find out who is responsible for choosing the restaurants and verbalize your concerns. Offer to help with the meal planning or food selections. If the coach is choosing the restaurant based on availability, you might be able to research other options in the area. If there’s only one restaurant to choose from, suggest different foods. Sometimes, speaking up is all it takes.
Eat Right By Packing Your Own Foods When Traveling
If packing your own food sounds like a hassle, remember this – it’s not easy being the best! Go above and beyond just like you do in your training. Purchase a medium sized cooler and bring your own healthy performance food. Doing so not only does this allow you to eat the right foods, it also means you can eat at the right times. You won’t be forced to wait until you arrive at the restaurant – you can have a recover snack immediately after your event. Then, if the restaurant has a meal you want and need – great. But, if not, you can eat what you brought. Having a packed cooler also allows you to pack other foods and fluids to consume throughout the day, including before or during the event.
Find Out What Resources Are Available In Advance
If you do take your food, you’ll want to know if you have access to a microwave to heat it. Some restaurant’s are willing to heat up your food for you, while others are not. If you are traveling by plane, for example, you won’t have much luck finding a microwave. Call the restaurant in advance and ask if they will heat your meal for you. Most convenience stores or gas stations have microwaves that can be used to heat food. Just in case, bring a back-up meal that doesn’t need heated, like a nut butter and jelly sandwich, cup of Greek yogurt or other cold food to consume. As you get more experienced with taking responsibility for your own food choices, you’ll get more creative.
Nutritious Foods To Take With You
If you have access to a microwave, your meal options are endless. Put yesterday’s leftovers in a container, pack it in a cooler and take it with you. Your leftover chicken and pasta, shrimp stir-fry or grilled chicken sandwich will taste great after a few hours of playing.
If you’re not sure, or you just want to play it safe, pack some nutritious meals that can be eaten cold. Here are some ideas that can easily be packed in your cooler:
Fluids – bottled water, sports drinks, regular or flavored milk or juices
Proteins – Greek yogurt, string cheese or regular cheese, hard-boiled eggs, deli meats, hummus, cottage cheese, protein bars
Carbohydrates – crackers, jelly, breads, pretzels, bagels, fresh fruit, canned fruit or dried fruits, cereal, fig bars, energy bars
Other Fats – peanut or other nut butter, nuts, seeds, trail mix
For more ideas, check out my post that shares ten portable snacks for athletes on the go.
It’s easy to make excuses for not eating right. Lead you team to success by taking control of what foods are available, and showing them how to eat right when traveling with the team.