Here are some options—and check out the tips that follow for what to eat and drink before and after play.
- Low-fat cheese with whole-grain crackers
- A handful of almonds, cashews, peanuts or trail mix
- A hard-boiled egg
- Carrots, celery sticks, or apple slices with 1 ounce of low-fat cheese or nut butter
- Half of a single-serving string cheese and small piece of fruit
- Greek yogurt
- Pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds
- A healthy muffin or a banana
- Half a peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread
- Whole-grain crackers or whole-wheat tortilla with hummus or nut butter
- Individual unsweetened applesauce with a few dry-roasted walnuts
- Lean meat (1 ounce) and a few whole-grain crackers
Before You Play
Carbohydrates provide a boost of energy that will keep you playing longer. An hour or so before you play, eat a high-carbohydrate snack. This amount of time allows your body to digest the food before you begin exercising.
- Whole-grain crackers, whole-grain toast, or a rice cake topped with a light coat of nut butter and half of a banana.
- A bowl of cereal or oatmeal.
- A low-fat muffin.
- A fruit smoothie.
- A boiled or poached egg.
If you must eat just before you play, try something that digests quickly. You won't have time to break down complex carbohydrates. Eat something light made up of simple carbs to fire up your energy levels and get your through the game.
- A handful of dried fruit
- A piece of white bread.
- A sports drink.
After You Play
It's important to replenish the carbohydrates that were used during exercise. Now you need those complex carbs again that take longer to metabolize. Don't go for the quick, simple carbs because they will give you a sugar high that will crash later, and don't overeat. Go slowly and let your body have time to realize you've had enough.
- Lowfat chocolate milk.
- Greek yogurt with bits of fruit or granola.
- A banana and crackers with nut butter.
- Lowfat cheese with fruit.
Don't forget to drink water after exercising!