Little Changes Can Lead to Big Results
You may be thinking you need to make big changes to your diet to see changes in how you perform or how you look. But it can be hard to actually sustain those changes if you try to do a complete 180. In reality, it is helpful to make small lifestyle changes over time to become a healthier version of yourself.
There is a reason that it is called the most important meal of the day! Especially when it comes to early morning practice, a healthy breakfast is crucial to fuel your body. Eating earlier in the day helps give your body a head-start and prepares you for the rest of the day.
Breakfast also supplies your brain with glucose which helps your memory and to think better. Something as simple as oatmeal in the morning, could help you stay more focused during class, provide better work, or help you ace that test!
Soft Drinks vs. Water
As an athlete, beverages play an important role in the diet because they help maintain hydration and can provide important nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C.
Being hydrated versus being hyped-up on sugar and caffeine can make a huge difference in performance. The major source of added sugars in typical U.S. diets are sugar-sweetened drinks. It is shown that 6 out of 10 young people drink a sugary drink on a given day.
Both the calories and nutrients in beverages are important to consider in your diet. Beverages that are calorie free – especially water – or that contribute beneficial nutrients such as fat-free and low-fat milk and 100% juice, should be primary beverages consumed. Flavored water or sparkling water is also a good alternative option to consider making it easier to consume increased amounts of water to stay hydrated.
High Quality Protein
Make sure your meat and poultry choices are lean and low-fat. Today’s pork is leaner than ever. This makes it a great choice when choosing a high-quality protein.
It provides key nutrients such as
- iron – aids in growth and development, and carries oxygen in red blood cells;
- phosphorus – helps strengthen bones and generate energy in cells; and
- zinc – helps maintain the immune system and energy metabolism
These three nutrients, as well as many others, are all very important to having the energy you need to perform well.
This Herby Pork & Zucchini Patty recipe includes lean ground pork and freshly grated zucchini to provide you and your family with a delicious meal packed with essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Here is a fun snack to make ahead and share with the team for a quick protein punch!
Resources and Citations
- CDC Trends in Beverage Consumption
- Dietary Guidelines
- USA Pork