You or your kids are starving and haven’t eaten anything since lunch, so you make a run through the drive-thru so you can quiet your stomach and fuel your workout.
Pretty common situation, right?
If this happens to you, you’re not alone!
Researchers at the University of Minnesota asked 60 parents of young athletes about the food their child eats at or around sporting events and practices.
They found that most parents are bringing post-game or practice snacks that are high in sugar, fat, and empty calories instead of healthier options such as fruit, water, or a sandwich to replenish the protein and calories that were just burned off.
Unfortunately, the many activities that consume our daily lives have made schedules busier and busier, which is causing meals eaten on the go to occur more frequently.
Most of the time these meals aren’t planned, which results in a trip through the drive-thru instead of a well-balanced snack or meal.
We all know fast food isn’t the best option, but here are a few refreshers to the negative side of fast food, especially before or after a workout or competition:
1. Fast food is rich in the bad fats … saturated and trans-fats. Both of these fats can increase cholesterol levels in your blood
2. Foods from fast food restaurants contain more calories, which can result in weight gain if too many extra calories are consumed and stored in the body
3. Fast food contains a high amount of sodium (salt). Yes, we need sodium for our bodies to work, but too much sodium is bad for the body and have a negative effect on one’s health.
4. Fast foods are filled with refined sugars and carbohydrates, which do not help your body at all and can cause a drop in energy
So what should you do next time you’re running late and need something to eat?
Here are some tips for planning ahead so you don’t have to run through the drive-thru:
1. Think ahead.
If you know when you’re going to have a jam-packed schedule or week, head to the grocery store for foods you can eat on the go.
2. Pack snacks that can stay in the car or a gym bag.
For example, buy a big bag of almonds and place 1 serving into a small zip-lock bag. Do this for the whole bag of almonds then place all of the 1 serving bags in the car. That way you have a snack whenever you need one!
Other options: trail mix, whole grain pretzels, small packets of nut butter and crackers, low-fat granola bar, energy bars, popcorn, or dry cereal.
3. Before you run out of the house, make a smoothie.
Look back at last week’s smoothie recipes for some ideas!
4. Once you go to the store, package snacks in small 1-serving bags so as you are heading out you can grab one.
Some easy ways to do this would be cut up apples, carrot or celery sticks, grapes, oranges, or any other fruit or vegetable you enjoy.
The key is planning ahead.
If you take a pro-active approach to your busy schedule and finding nutritious snacks, you can easily ditch the hunger and drive-thru and still have fuel to get through a workout or competition!
To a Healthier You!
Jim and The CORE1 Crew