Start Your Day Right by Katie L. Kaschub, MS, ATC, CSCS
Without a doubt, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but chances are you have been caught running out the door on an empty stomach at one point or another. After a long day in class or at work, you’re off to practice and likely running on fumes.
Regardless of the fact that you ate lunch and a pre-practice snack, you are likely still drained of energy before you even take the field. After training, you find yourself gorging on dinner and snack on “junk” food until you go to bed. Believe it or not, consuming a healthy breakfast boosts your metabolism and sets you up to make better food choices throughout the day. Whether you workout in the morning, afternoon, or evening, eating a hearty breakfast can be the difference between an energetic performance or lackluster one.
Eating breakfast helps jumpstart the body’s metabolism and prepares the body for the day by fueling it with energy. Just as you wouldn’t start a long road trip without gas, the same applies for your body. For endurance athletes, including field hockey players, the daily caloric intake should be between 2,000-3,000k cal/day depending on age, height, weight, and activity level. The most successful athletes spread their calorie consumptions evenly throughout the day, avoiding a drastic spike at dinner- time. Essentially, the energy value (aka. calories) of breakfast and lunch should be 500 calories each.
Carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats should make up your morning meal. Breakfast should be rich in carbohydrates, such as whole grains and fruits, to raise your blood sugar and help fuel your muscles and brain. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen and broken down into glucose during exercise, so it is important to replenish your body’s stores first thing in the morn- ing. Lean protein, including egg whites and milk, is essential for building and repairing muscles. And adding healthy fats, such as peanut butter or salmon, can help stave off hunger and replen- ish fat stores that support endurance performance.
It is necessary to consider what time of day you workout when planning your breakfast routine. To avoid stomach distress, you need to have at least two hours to digest your breakfast prior to exercising. Therefore, most athletes with early morning work-
outs will consume a smaller pre-exercise meal with a larger breakfast immediately following exercise to refuel muscles. Just 100-300 calories such as a banana, half a bagel, or slice of toast with peanut butter helps boost endurance prior to activity.
It makes no difference whether you’re an amateur or elite athlete: eating a healthful breakfast is the easiest way to boost performance, sets you up to eat right for the rest of your day, and develops nutritious habits for the rest of your life.
The following are a few examples of simple healthy breakfasts: · Peanut butter-banana-honey sandwich on whole wheat bread · 1 cup whole grain cereal withlow fat milk, banana, and orange juice · Toasted whole-wheat waffle topped with blueberries · Low fat yogurt topped with granola
SWEET POTATO HASH Recipe by Jesse Gey, Women’s National Team #7
2 Sweet Potatoes 1 Red Onion
1 Package of Bulk Turkey Breakfast Sausage Links Cumin, Chile Powder, Coriander Salt & Pepper Olive Oil Eggs
Cheddar Cheese (Optional)
Cut the potatoes into quarters and slice into half moon shapes (preferably thin). Dice the red onion. Take sausage out of the casing and chop up. Put olive oil in a large skillet (lightly coat the pan) and heat up. Add onions and sausage and brown for about 3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, then about 1/2 palmful chile powder, 1/3 palmful cumin, and 2 tsps. coriander. Stir occa- sionally until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked (about 10-15 min). Move to a bowl and sprinkle with cheese. Coat skillet with Pam, crack 2 eggs into skillet and cook to your liking. Scoop your potato/sausage mixture onto a plate and place your eggs on top! It tastes best with the yolk running through the dish!
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