Post-Game Eating and Power-Packed Salsa


Myth: “Snacking is not good for me!”

Fact: Snacks can be a great nutrition benefit for athletes if they snack healthfully. Try to eat a whole grain carbohydrate (granola bar, whole grain cereal, whole wheat crackers, pretzels, etc) or a fruit and a lean protein (yogurt, 2% cheese, 2% cottage cheese, turkey jerky, lunch meat, etc) or a healthy fat (peanut butter, nuts, seeds, avocado, etc.) at every snack. Examples include peanut butter crackers, fruit and string cheese, yogurt and whole grain cereal, granola bar and nuts, etc)

Sports Nutrition 101

Post-Exercise Eating

• Post-exercise the body is in “breakdown mode”…good sports nutrition stops breakdown from
progressing after the workout
• The goal is to provide the body with carbohydrate and protein to replenish energy stores and repair
muscle tears/damage
• “Window Of Opportunity”
*2-hour time period (especially the first 30-45 minutes), post-exercise, when the body has the ability to take up nutrients faster in order to recover…think of the muscle like a sponge

0-45 minutes post-workout/game                                                                          

• What nutrients to eat:
o 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein (4 grams carbohydrate to 1 gram protein) and little to no fat
o Carbohydrates replenish energy (glycogen) stores lost during exercise and open the cell for protein
to be absorbed
o Protein starts muscle repair, but most importantly decreases muscle breakdown post-exercise

• Food examples:
o Low-fat chocolate milk
o Cereal and low-fat milk
○ Flavored-yogurt and fruit
o Energy bar & 8 oz Gatorade®
○ Low-fat granola bar & 8 oz low-fat milk
o 3-4 graham crackers & 8 oz low-fat milk
o Baggie 1 cup high pro cereal (Kashi®), 1⁄2 c granola, 1⁄4 c dried fruit
o Smoothie w/8 oz low-fat milk, 1⁄2 scoop protein powder, 1 cup fruit, 1 Tbs. honey

***Fluids like shakes and smoothies digest much faster than whole food***
*** Best recovery bars: Cliff®, Power Bar Harvest®, Gatorade Bar®, Kashi Go Lean Crunch®***

• Hydration:
*17-24 oz fluid (water or Gatorade®) for every pound lost during exercise                                         *22-24 oz fluid if rehydration is necessary in short period of time

Within 2 hours post-workout/game
• Balanced meal of carbohydrates, protein, and some healthy fat (still relatively low-fat): 50-60% carbohydrate, 20-30% protein, 10-20% fat
• Hydration:
*Still working on rehydrating/recovering what was lost during workout or game o Goal: Urine should be clear or pale yellow

Healthy Bites…Recipe of the Month

Looking for a healthy snack food? How about chips and salsa? What?! Yes, it’s true…

Let’s breakdown “Power Packed Salsa” ingredients… This salsa is low in fat and contains no cholesterol. Tomatoes and bell peppers are high in antioxidants which help you recover from exercise. They are also high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and calcium. Black beans are a good source of fiber and protein which will help with satiety. All of the ingredients in this salsa provide a good amount of calcium which will aid in building strong bones. This salsa is a healthy alternative to creamy dips and canned salsas that can be high in fat and sodium. Don’t forget the homemade whole wheat tortillas chips that are a healthier alternative than salty, packaged chips. These are a great whole grain choice to replenish the carbohydrate stores you burned off during exercise.

“Power Packed Salsa” Recipe
• 3 chopped tomatoes
• 1 can black beans
• 1 chopped red bell pepper
• 1 chopped green bell pepper
• 1 chopped yellow bell pepper
• 2 Tb cilantro
• 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
• 4 lime wedges

Combine all ingredients except lime wedges in a large bowl. Squeeze juice from lime wedges over the salsa and mix well. Enjoy with a bag of multigrain tortilla chips or make your own using the instructions below. Makes 6-7 cups of salsa (12-14 1⁄2 cup servings)

Nutrition Facts per Serving (1/2 cup):
Calories: 40, Carbohydrate: 9 gm, Fiber: 2.5 gm, Protein: 2.5 gm, Fat: 1 gm, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Make your own healthy tortilla chips…
Ingredients: 4 whole wheat tortillas, 1 tsp canola oil or spray butter and salt to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut tortillas into eight wedges. Brush each tortilla with 1⁄4 tsp of canola oil or spray with spray butter. Bake 8-10 minutes. Makes 32 chips. Eat your healthy chips and dip with a 2% string cheese or sprinkle some grated cheese on your chips for a great carbohydrate/protein snack!

–Amy Goodson

amy-goodson-quarterback-ranchAmy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian for Ben Hogan Sports Medicine and serves as the sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Soccer Dallas, Jim McClean Golf School, Texas Christian University Athletics, and University of Texas at Arlington Athletics. In addition, she is an adjunct professor and dietetic intern preceptor for Texas Woman’s University, Texas Christian University and t