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Comets of Charles County Track & Field

Comets of Charles County Track & Field

Healthy Food Choices

Smart Food Choices for Youth Athletes


Breakfast:  A hearty breakfast is the most important meal for youth athletes:  Start with a carbohydrate, protein, and a fruit.   

Start the day by drinking a full glass of water.

  • Bananas, oranges, grapes, apples, pears, melons
  • Yogurt, Greek is higher protein for teen athletes
  • Lean Ham
  • Scrambled or hard boiled eggs
  • Thin toast, whole-wheat cereals, oatmeal, grits, etc.


  • Ham and Turkey Sandwiches:  lettuce, tomato, mustard is good, but ditch the mayonnaise
  • Pretzels, popcorn, crackers, Chex Mix, trail mix
  • Chocolate milk or water.  Do NOT drink sports drinks.

Study Hall

  • Yogurt, granola bars, fig newtons, pretzels, thin bagels, ½ sandwich, fruits,
  • Dry cereal
  • Sports drinks and water ONLY during practice.

After Practice

  • Chocolate Milk, ½ sandwich, energy bars (no more than 20 grams of protein)


  • Baked chicken, broccoli, mashed potatoes, salad with 1 TBS dressing, bread and butter, 1% milk.  Second portions are good if still hungry.

Snacks between meals

  • Carrots, muffins, bagel thins, dry cereal, whole-wheat crackers, peppers, tangerines, hummus on pita bread, etc.  Homemade desserts like oatmeal cookies and apple crisp are also a healthy option.
Updated by A. LeBarron, MS, RD, 2/24/2016

Power Foods for Track Athletes

Experts recommend that high school track runners eat a wide variety of foods, with special focus on the following:

* Complex carbohydrates: Whole-grain cereals, potatoes, rice, beans, breads, fruit, vegetables, pasta. The less processed the better, so more nutrients will come along for the ride.

* Lean red meat: Excellent source of protein as well as iron, which runners need to avoid anemia. All runners lose iron during hard training, and females lose additional iron during menstruation.

* Fish, poultry: Good source of protein, which runners need to build muscle tissue during hard training.

* Dairy products: Great source of calcium, needed to build strong bones. Focus on low-fat dairy products as much as possible.

* Nuts, avocados: The fat in these foods can provide needed calories without the long-term health problems associated with animal fats.

* Bananas, orange juice: Good for carbohydrates and rich in potassium, which helps runners avoid muscle cramps.

* Sports drinks: These are handy sources of carbohydrates, electrolytes, and fluids. Runners should begin replacing glycogen (muscle fuel) as soon as possible after a workout, and sports drinks can begin this process. In addition, in hot weather runners can lose 4 pounds of fluids an hour, and speedy replacement is absolutely crucial.

**Adapted from article "Are You Eating Enough?" by Don Kardong

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