Thoughts on Nutrition and Hydration

August Two-A-Day camp is intense and requires all players to become more conscious of their diet and especially their daily hydration. For this reason we have prepared and provided some meal and nutrition suggestions to help keep players healthy, hydrated and able to safely perform at their very best. During these next few weeks we ask that both parents and players pay especially close attention to their food and fluid intake. Should anyone have any health related concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the coaching staff, a trainer or qualified medical provider.

The first week of camp starts early. Some players may find it difficult to eat breakfast at this time, but it is important that each player eat even a modest breakfast before practicing. A good source of protein might be eggs, nuts or peanut butter; they can have bananas, fruits; carbohydrates like multigrain breads, bagels or soft pretzels; and juices and water. Avoid large amounts of dairy just before workouts. During second week of camp, (starting later in the day), players may want to increase their intake at breakfast — eggs, meat, bagels, pancakes, waffles. Multigrain or whole grains are best. Try to avoid fatty or greasy foods.

Lean meat protein like chicken, turkey, roast beef or ham for wraps, sandwiches or subs. Minimal amounts of cheese or mayo. PB&J sandwiches are always great, as are fig newtons, nilla wafers, graham crackers, pretzels, granola bars, nuts and raisins. Fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, fruit cups and bananas. Juices and sports drinks are fine. V8 Splash is a good source of vitamins. Stay away from caffeine, soda, candy, Red Bull or other energy drinks. Avoid heavy dairy within three hours of practice like milk, yogurt, or ice cream.

Soft-side coolers with a cool pack are fine for keeping food and drinks cool until each break. Depending on the player, the intensity of the practice and the heat will likely have an impact of what and how much a player consumes. Communicate and use good judgement. Make adjustments as needed.

As mentioned above, the first priority must be to stay hydrated, every day, all day. Water is ideal. Sports drinks are fine after workouts. Avoid caffeine. Throughout camp each player should monitor the color of his urine. It should always appear light in color, like lemonade. If it ever appears darker, like apple juice, he may be dehydrated and should increase his fluid intake right away. Water is always provided during practices, but players may also wish to bring their own water for use throughout the day.

In the evenings after practices, players might want to have a large chocolate milk and are encouraged to fill up with pasta, chicken, burgers. Dairy such as yogurts and ice-cream are okay in the evenings. And, ending the day with one last glass of water is a great idea. Players must get their rest each night and allow their bodies to recover. Sleep is essential.