Healthy Habits for Teen Athletes

Today's post was written by Terri Rupkey. Terri is a certified health coach and certified personal trainer, and a weight loss coordinator at Kirby Medical Center. She is pursuing her bachelors in health and wellness management through University of Wisconsin, and completing fieldwork with UI Extension.

Healthy Habits for Teen Athletes

It is important to give your body the energy it needs for extra physical activity. You cannot ask your car to perform without filling the tank with gas! Below are some ways to keep your body energized throughout the day.

  • Don't skip breakfast. Breakfast initiates metabolism, gives the body energy for movement, and helps with concentration and learning.
  • Make smart lunch picks. Lunch should include healthy carbohydrates and proteins to provide the body with fuel for after-school activities.
  • Don't forget fluids. Drink according to thirst during meals but be sure to get in 8-20oz of fluid an hour before physical activity. Continuing drinking during exercise to replace fluids lost through perspiration.
  • Keep snacks with you for days when you need to re-fuel. Eat a light snack before practice or a game (especially if you have an early lunch period). After practice or a game, refuel with healthy carbs and protein.
  • Limit junk foods. Candy, sweets, and chips are OK in moderation but will not give your body the nutrients it needs. Limit these foods to special occasions on non-training days.

Some healthy snack ideas include:

  • Turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • Trail mix (nuts, seeds, raisins)
  • Granola
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Fruit