Shayley in our sports therapy gym doing exercises

Sep 23, 2020 / Sports Medicine

Recovery Snack Checklist for Young Athletes

It is important for young athletes, like high-level gymnast Shayley, to understand how to properly fuel their bodies – before and after a practice, competition or game. Our certified sports dietitian Taylor Morrison, M.S., R.D., CSSD, L.D., stresses the importance of having recovery snacks on-hand.Shayley-Planas-age-11-of-Plano-at-Woga_09-27-2019_009.jpg

Many parents ask, “What is a good recovery snack that I can have ready for my athlete after a game or practice?” While important to know quick ideas, it’s even more important to know what makes up the ideal recovery snack. 

In addition to providing specific examples, Morrison likes to provide a framework to follow in order to make the right decision. She says this also helps to prevent “snack fatigue” down the road. 

Here is a guide to creating optimal recovery snacks You can use the examples listed to build snacks your athlete will enjoy or add in some of your own food examples as well.

Three Key Components to the Ideal Recovery Snack
  1. Carbohydrate: replenishes depleted energy stores in the muscle and liver. Maintains energy levels and allows the body to maintain lean muscle.
  2. Protein: used to rebuild or repair worked tissues in the body.
  3. Fluid: prevents dehydration and promotes optimal recovery.
Recovery Snacks Should be Made with Whole Foods Not Packaged Supplements
It’s important to focus on whole foods for recovery vs. supplements because the micronutrients in the foods can also be important factors for recovery and injury prevention. Some of these micronutrients include: 
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • B12
  • Iron
To know more specifically how much carbohydrate, protein and fluid your athlete needs for optimal recovery after long intense games or tournaments. meet with a registered sports dietitian who can create recommendations unique to your athlete.
Chocolate milk milk milk & chocolate milk
Turkey wrap + water turkey tortilla water
Smoothie milk fruit (fresh or frozen) & milk ice, milk & fruit
Peanut butter toast + milk peanut butter & milk toast & milk milk
Yogurt + granola + water yogurt granola + yogurt water + yogurt
Granola bar + string cheese + sports drink string cheese granola bar sports drink
Dried edamame + fruit + water edamame fruit & edamame water & fruit

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