Young athletes drinking water on a basketball court

Feb 09, 2017 / Sports Medicine

Nutrition Tips for Young Basketball Players

It is important for young and growing athletes to eat regularly scheduled and well-balanced meals throughout the school day. It’s best to plan ahead for additional snacks and water to make sure the athlete is optimally fueled and hydrated when there is an afterschool sports event.

Here are some tips regarding practice and game day fuel for young basketball players from Taylor Fisher, M.S., R.D., L.D., Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children dietitian.

Use these tips to plan ahead so that your athletes have nutritious choices for their backpacks:

  • Pack a water bottle for sipping throughout the day as well as during and after the event.
  • Take foods that help hydrate (i.e., grapes, pears, oranges, yogurts).
  • Pack snacks with complex carbohydrates and protein to provide nourishment throughout the school day and after the event (i.e., chocolate milk, apple slices with string cheese, trail mix).
  • Bring snacks with more easily digested carbohydrates for snacks right before and during the event (i.e., fresh or dried fruit, applesauce, pretzels, fig bars).

A great way to help your young athletes develop healthy habits is to include them in the planning and shopping for their meals and snacks. Fisher says, “These lessons can instill healthy habits early in life that carry on beyond youth sports and into college and adulthood where they are responsible for their own food and nutrition choices.”

For more information about injury prevention, nutrition and pediatric sports medicine, please visit our Sports Medicine page

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