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Guest post by Allegra Burton, MPH, RD
We all remember our childhood days when we fueled up before and after games and practices with whatever sugary snacks were provided – Twinkies and other snack cakes, oatmeal cream pies, ice cream pops, candy bars, and juice boxes that contained more water and sugar than actual nutrient-rich juice. These snacks will certainly raise low blood sugar – but to a higher than desirable degree – only to result in a blood sugar crash 30-60 minutes later. And all for little or no nutritional value.
Better refueling snack options - for kids and adults alike - are snacks that include a combination of protein, fiber and healthy fats along with carbohydrates. These snacks provide a moderate, sustained rise in blood sugar that can help keep you going during and after game time and beyond. Good examples include an apple or banana with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with granola, whole grain crackers with string cheese, whole wheat pita bread with hummus, trail mix, and SOYJOY bars. These snacks not only give you sustained energy but they also provide needed vitamins, minerals and fiber.
So next time you find yourself in need of fuel before, during and/or after a game think nutrient rich rather than sugar fix and your body will thank you – you will feel better and play the game with more real, lasting energy.