Fueling Your Body As An Athlete

Nutrition is an important part of sports performance for young athletes, in addition to allowing for optimal growth and development. Proper amounts of macronutrients, micronutrients, and fluids are essential to provide energy for activity and growth.

Poor nutrition can lead to fatigue, dehydration, and poor health; all of which negatively affect athletic performance! Fueling your body correctly is often overlooked by athletes but it is an ESSENTIAL aspect in sports performance.



Nutrients our bodies need in large quantities to provide us energy:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fat


Essential elements that our bodies require in smaller amounts to facilitate physiological functions, help healthy development, prevent disease, and improve wellbeing

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron)
  • Water/electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride)


Most easily utilized form of energy.

Common simple carbohydrates: simple carbs are digested more quickly than complex

  • Table sugar and sugar containing snacks (i.e. gummies)
  • Fruit juices
  • Honey
  • White bread
  • White pasta
  • Baked goods

Common complex carbohydrates:

Starches and fiber – digested more slowly than simple sugar

  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Whole grains
  • Oats
  • Beans and lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Fruis and veggies

Animal Protein:

Muscle growth, tissue repair, making enzymes and hormones.

Common sources:

  • Meat and fish 
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt 
  • Milk
  • Protein supplements

Vegetarian / Vegan Proteins:

  • Legumes
  • Tofu
  • Lentils 
  • Quinoa 
  • Meatless substitutes


Hormone regulation, organ protection, secondary source of energy.

  • About 25-30% of total calories should come from fat
  • Less than 10% of calories should come from saturated fats
  • Avoid trans fat and hydrogenated oils 
  • Aim for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats 
  • Include omega 3 and omega 6 rich foods (fatty fish such as salmon and nuts)


 it is IDEAL to eat several hours prior to the competition to avoid GI issues.

Eating a good diet can help provide the energy you need. You are more likely to be tired and perform poorly during sports when you do not get enough, calories, carbohydrates, fluids, iron, vitamins, and other minerals as well as protein.

Hours before competition:

  • High carb (adequate glycogen stores)
  • Moderate protein 
  • Avoid high fat/high fiber meals

Less than 1 hour before competition:

  • Liquid carbs in the form of a protein shake or sports drink such as Gatorade


  • Whole grain toast or bagel with nut butter and banana slices 
  • Oatmeal with fruit and honey
  • Chicken, rice/sweet potato, and vegetables 
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich 
  • Fruit smoothie with protein powder added 
  • Applesauce and granola/protein bar 
  • Apple slices and peanut butter


  • Endurance athletes will require ~30-90g of carbs every hour plus electrolytes to combat electrolyte loss through sweat loss
  • Adding a small amount of protein can also help prevent the breakdown of muscle
  • High intensity athletes may improve performance and speed by ingesting sport drinks that include both carbs and electrolytes
  • Strength and power athletes may benefit from intra-workout carbs (i.e. sports drinks containing sugar) to help keep blood sugar at an optimal level to benefit performance


The 3 priorities of recovery:

  • Repair: repair damaged muscle fibers
  • Restore: Restore depleted carbohydrate stores
  • Rehydrate: rehydrate from fluids lost during exercise
  • Aim for ~20g of protein post exercise and every 3-4 hours consume ~20g of protein
  • Each meal throughout the day should consume a source of protein (i.e. eggs with breakfast, chicken with lunch, fish with dinner)
  • The post workout meal should also contain a moderate to high amount of carbohydrates


  • Chicken, rice, and vegetable 
  • Ground beef/turkey, sweet potato, and vegetable 
  • Turkey sandwich with a piece of fruit 
  • Greek yogurt with banana slices, mixed berries, and granola 
  • Oatmeal with protein powder and blueberries 
  • Omelet with veggies added (i.e. spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers) and toast/bagel
Athlete's Diet

At Elite we offer Sports Nutritional Consultation includes;

  • Meeting with the Sports Nutritionist to discuss goals
  • Body composition SECA scan and analysis
  • Customized meal plan
  • Access to nutrition tracking app (no additional fee)
  • Bi-Weekly body composition follow-up scans and analysis up to 3 months

Our Sports Nutrition team can determine exactly what you need before, during, and after your sport’s season so that you can be at your best at all times. Contact us to find out more, and all the options we offer to help you with reaching your goals.