Now that you know what types of food fuel optimal performance, let’s cook up some recipes for success! USQ has put together a few suggestions for on-the-go snacks that’ll help keep your energy up during those two-a-day training sessions or weekend tournaments. (We’re looking at you, Regionals!)
The easiest food to make is the food you don’t actually have to make at all: just toss some super-food in a bag, and call it trail mix!
When making homemade trail mix, consider the following power ingredients:
When selecting granola, look for low-fat and low-fiber options. For your average, non-game-day consumption, you should also try to find a brand with under 10 g of sugar per serving…but for a tournament weekend, don’t worry so much about that! You’ll need the extra glucose boost!
*almonds and pistachios
Really, any nut is a healthy option but almonds and pistachios are higher in protein than their peers, and they taste delicious.
Okay, so maybe pumpkin is no longer the spice du jour now that peppermint everything has taken over—but when it comes to protein, pumpkin throws a powerful punch: 14 grams in every 1/2 cup!
Go ahead and top off that trail mix with a splash of cinnamon. While there are no immediate, athletic-performance benefits to the spice, it tastes delicious and makes everything just a little more classy.
Again, USQ is all about the easy, non-cooking recipes. No-bake protein bites are great for tournaments because they travel well, require no kitchen appliances, and don’t spoil sitting in your sports bag! And—of course—they’ve got the holy trinity of game-day nutrition: protein, complex carbs, and sugar!
To make your own bites, mix together the following ingredients and roll into small, bite-sized balls (or blobs, we don’t judge). Then, refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.
-1 cup rolled oats
-1/4 cup flax seed
-2 teaspoons cocoa powder
-2 teaspoons shredded coconut
-1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
-3/4 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup honey
-1 tablespoon chia seeds
-1/4 teaspoon salt
For an extra pinch of protein, experiment with adding a scoop of your favorite whey or protein powder!
Be sure to balance these on-the-go snacks with plenty of water, and give yourself time to digest in between games…just some food for thought!