Carbohydrates

...and Sports & Nutrition

Importance of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are essential to helping athletes reach peak performance during strenuous activity. As exercise intensifies, muscle glycogen (where carbohydrates are stored) becomes depleted, which causes an increased need for carbohydrates. Eating the right amount of carbohydrates before, during, and after an event is critical!

Getting the Right Carbohydrates at the Right Time

Recover & Refuel recommends the following good carbs in preperation for your next match.

Bagels

Start with a whole wheat bagel topped with nut butters, veggies, fruits, eggs, fish and avocado. Avoid the starchy white bagel and flavored bagels like onion, garlic, poppy seed, and "everything" bagels as they are made with refined wheat flour, which has been stripped of the fiber and nutrients that give whole grains their health benefits.

Grains, Oats and Oat Meal

There are many different types of healthy grains. It’s important to avoid those with terms like "multigrain" and “wheat" and look for “100% whole wheat." A sensible grain is the “Whole Oat." Oatmeal can be a great breakfast, but avoid those that contain high-fructose corn syrup. Try making healthy pancakes with Buckwheat.

Muffins

We’re not talking about big sugar filled dessert muffins. These are healthy, yet delicious alternatives: Applesauce Oat, Blueberry Flax Seed, Blueberry Oat Greek Yogurt, Flourless Pumpkin, Zucchini, Flourless Banana, Skinny Oatmeal Brown Sugar, Cauliflower Carrot & Apple Oat, and Green Banana Muffins.

Pasta

It’s important that you avoid simple-carbs and only use complex carb based pasta, such as 100% whole wheat pasta. From there, go nuts with: Spaghetti with Tomato and Walnut Pesto, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Kale, Herbed Fresh Pasta with Market Tomatoes and Peppers and Farro Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts.

Potatoes

Potatoes are nutritious vegetables that provide vitamin C, fiber and some B vitamins. Serve baked potatoes with salsa or fresh herbs, instead of sour cream and chili. You can even make a healthy mashed potatoes using Yukon gold potatoes. Keep the skin in the game to add extra fiber and potassium.


Sweet Potatoes

How can something so sweet be good for you? An excellent source of beta-carotene and 438% of your daily value of vitamin A in one baked, medium-sized sweet potato, 37% of your vitamin C, with some calcium, potassium, and iron as well. Try making a Savory Sweet Potato Mash. Details below under Further Reading.

Wheat Toast

Everybody knows that whole wheat bread contains more protein and fiber than white bread, but it’s vital that you read those labels! Wheat Bread can be very tricky, remember, stick with 100% whole wheat and avoid butter and jams as toppers and consider instead a scrambled or poached egg as a healthy meal before those early games.

Wild Rice

Wild rice contains a good balance of carbohydrates, fiber and protein from the beneficial amino acids lysine and methionine. When you buy wild rice, look for bagged versions that only contains the rice on the ingredient lists. Make a healthy Wild Rice Casserole or simply cook with lime, cilantro with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a nutrient-packed snack that provides you with calcium and protein. However, with all Recover & Refuel recommendations, you must read the label! Choose a yogurt without large amounts of added ingredients. Look for just milk, the bacterial cultures used to turn milk into yogurt and not much else. Add your own fresh fruits from home!