Your kids are heading to training or come off-court hungry and you want to give them the right foods to refuel…but what are the right “go-to” meals?
When it comes to knowing what to eat after a netball game, recovery nutrition is about the four R’s – refuel, repair, rehydrate and revitalise, let NETFIT Dietician Jess Spendlove share some of her best tips to re-boot tired bodies.
Refuel with Carbohydrates
Refuelling the body’s glycogen stores after a game of netball is a high priority. As your carbohydrate stores run low, you can be left feeling flat, tired and sore – so replenishing those stores after your session or match allows for some excellent performance outcomes!
The harder and higher intensity of the game, the more carbohydrates you will be using from your blood and your muscles. Carbohydrate recovery meals and snack options include overnight oats, yoghurt and bananas or an up-and-go. These are easy snacks to pack in the car on the way to a game or training.
Repair with Protein
Training or competing in games can result in some muscle damage – which isn’t a bad thing! The micro-tears in your muscles during a session can then build to bigger and better things – mainly if we give them the building blocks to do so! Protein consists of amino acids – so think of protein consumption as mini building blocks of strength for your body.
Including protein-rich foods is a great recovery strategy. Options such as on-the-go pasta with tuna, chocolate milk and a piece of fruit or a protein muesli bar and yoghurt are perfect to incorporate protein into tasty on-the-go meals.
Revitalise with colours
While the first three R’s provide immediate recovery benefits, the final R is part of the bigger picture and works more holistically. Including colour is vital to your recovery immediately after a netball game and more long-term in every meal and snack.
Nutrient-rich options such as a zucchini slice, wholegrain crackers, cheese and veggies mix or hummus, crackers and carrot sticks are great to incorporate as delicious and healthy snacks that help manage inflammation and optimise your immune health.
Rehydrate with fluids & electrolytes
When it comes to recovery, it is more than just the food we eat – it is also about hydration. Replacing the fluid and electrolytes (especially sodium) lost in sweat allows for better recovery – improving our energy levels, focus and concentration.
Our sweat rates depend on many factors, including genetics, gender, body size, fitness level and the climate, so there is no set amount we need to drink each day – it varies!
So, when considering your hydration, the easiest option is to monitor your urine colour. The goal is averaging a clear to pale yellow; anything darker means more fluids are needed.
Once your kids have finished their game or training, try to have a snack ready first to replenish their energy stories. Great, quick options include:
- Chicken & salad wraps
- Smoothie with a muffin
- Sushi Rolls
- Tuna & salad sandwich
When you get home ready to prepare dinner or lunch, including all of our four R’s in our meal will be the best way to manage fatigue and hunger for your kids.
Fresh and healthy options that even the kids can help prepare could include:
- Burrito Bowl
- Grilled burger
- Stir fry
Incorporating healthy habits into your kids’ netball routine will help them play to the best of their ability, having the right amount of energy to ensure they are feeling strong on and off the court! We’d love to see your favourite post-game recovery meals, so be sure to share them on Instagram and tag @netfitnetball and @jess_spendlove_dietitian
Want to see more of Jess Spendlove’s top tips? Head to her Instagram to learn more: https://www.instagram.com/jess_spendlove_dietitian/