What’s your dream car? Everyone has one! Maybe it’s a bright red convertible that you can zip up and down the highway in with your hair blowing in the breeze. If that’s not really your style, then maybe it’s a black motorcycle with wheels so silver you can see your reflection in them. Wouldn’t it be awesome if one day after school you came home and your dream car was parked outside your home with a giant bow just for you?
You’d probably spend countless hours cleaning and waxing your new ride to make sure it looks good on the road. You would never dream of putting oil in the gas tank or gasoline where windshield wiper fluid should go. That just seems crazy right? Well, what if I told you that you’re probably doing that to something that’s even more important than your dream car every day!
As an athlete, your body is like that dream car of yours. It lets you speed past your opponents in games, but how much longer do you think it’s going to keep working if you keep feeding it junk food? What athletes put in their bodies is just as important as what you would put or not put in your dream car.
It’s ok to eat junk food every now and then, but it is very important to make sure you’re eating healthy, balanced meals every day! What we eat can have short and long term effects on not just our game but our lives as well. Here are some fun meal and snack ideas that you should try the next time you feel like reaching for a hamburger or candy.
Healthy Meal Ideas:
1. Instead of a burger from McDonald’s try a sub sandwich from Subway or Jason’s Deli.
2. Instead of greasy pizza, try whole grain pasta with red sauce.
3. Instead of French fries as a side, get a cup of fruit or side salad.
Healthy Snack Ideas:
1. Instead of ice cream or a milkshake, try sorbet, sherbet, or frozen yogurt.
2. Instead of donuts or pastries try an English muffin or bagel.
3. Instead of sugar filled cookies, try graham crackers or ginger snaps.
Healthy Drink Ideas:
1. Instead of sugary juices, try Crystal Lite. It even comes in individual packages that you can pour into a water bottle.
2. Instead of soda, try Perrier. It’s a sparkling water that fizzes like soda and tastes great, but no sluggish side effects.
3. Instead of Red Bull, Monster, and other sugar filled energy drinks, try a glass of water or milk.
So, the next time you reach for a burger with a side of fries and a milkshake, remember your body is like that fancy dream car! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore or even a lifestyle change. Just a few conscious decisions about what you’re putting in your body, could make all the difference especially as an athlete!