Food is fuel. It runs your body just like gas runs a car. Remember everyone is different. Eat and drink foods that agree with you before exercising. Milk – both white and chocolate – is an ideal beverage for student athletes and active adults. Milk contains nine essential nutrients that you need, including some not typically found in recovery drinks.
What should athletes eat and drink before physical activity?
You don’t need extra vitamins, minerals or supplements — you just need to eat the right foods. Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all five food groups will give you the energy you need every day.
Four hours before physical activity, start hydrating and consider a high-carbohydrate pre-game meal such as:
- A baked potato topped with veggies and salsa
- Pasta with red sauce
- Brown rice and veggies with a side of fruit
Two hours before physical activity, continue drinking small amounts of fluid and, if you missed the pre-game meal, eat foods rich in carbohydrates and low in fiber such as:
- A fruit and yogurt smoothie
- Toast with jelly
- Pretzels and fruit
- Cereal with lowfat or fat-free milk and fruit
30 minutes before the event, hydrate with 8-12 ounces of water.
If you are continuously moving for more than 60 minutes, grab a carbohydrate/electrolyte boost, like a sports drink, with a small serving of fruit.
After your event, rehydrate with a beverage rich in carbohydrates and electrolytes, such as lowfat or fat-free chocolate milk. It’s just what an athlete needs — a carb-to-protein ratio of 3:1, is a good source of potassium, and has a moderate amount of sodium.
Why Chocolate Milk?
Lowfat chocolate milk:
- Is a natural source of high-quality protein to build lean muscle
- Delivers electrolytes including calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium to replenish what’s lost in sweat
- Provides fluids to rehydrate
- Offers B vitamins for energy and vitamin A for a healthy immune system and normal vision
- Provides calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, protein and potassium to build and maintain strong bones and help reduce the risk for stress fractures
- Contains the right carb-to-protein ratio scientifically shown to rebuild exhausted muscles