The practices, workouts and game plans all make sense. When you've got the ball in your hands, you know exactly what to do. But another aspect of your life that affects your performance—your diet—might have you crossed up.
We get that. Some of the recipes in your parents' cookbooks can be more complicated than your calculus homework. So rather than throw a textbook at you, we're going to give you what you really need: easy recipes to keep you playing at your peak.
The following options contain the ideal ratio of carbs, protein and fat for athletes—4.1 g of carbs and .75 g of protein per pound of body weight, with the remaining 30 percent of calories coming from fat—as recommended by Joy Dubost, Ph.D, RD, and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. All you have to do is prepare 'em and eat 'em.
Ready to chow down?
Note: This diet is optimized for a 16-year-old, 5'10", 165-pound athlete who practices basketball hard for one hour six days each week. If you weigh more, add approximately 21 grams of carbs and 3.75 grams of protein for every five additional pounds of body weight. If you weigh less, subtract those numbers for every five pounds.
Protein: 132.5 g
Fat: 102.9 g
Carbs: 562 g
Instant Oatmeal with Bananas and Peanut Butter Bagel
- Mix water with 1 cup of instant oatmeal.
- Cook in microwave per directions on box. Slice large banana into oatmeal.
- Eat with a cup of 1 percent milk on the side and a whole-wheat bagel with two tablespoons of peanut butter.
Snack Between Classes
Trail Mix and Orange Juice
Directions: No prep needed—just toss a small carton of orange juice and a plastic baggy with 1/2 cup of trail mix in your backpack. Scarf them both down between your mid-morning classes.
Avocado Tuna Sandwich on Wheat with Apple, Carrots and Hummus
- Drain a small can (3 oz.) of solid white albacore tuna.
- Mix drained tuna with 1 cup of avocado until you have a creamy, smooth spread.
- Spread tuna salad on whole wheat bread.
- Enjoy with an apple, a cup of baby carrots and 1/2 cup of hummus on the side.
Gatorade, 12 oz.
Chocolate Milk, 8 oz.
Baked Chicken with Brown Rice and Broccoli
Directions: Brown Rice
- Boil 4 cups of water in a medium pot, then dump in 2 cups of brown rice.
- Cover the rice and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Once water has cooked off, take the rice off the stove for approximately three minutes and let it settle.
Directions: Chicken Breast, Skinless, 4 oz.
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Rinse chicken and trim excess fat.
- Place chicken breast on a cookie sheet with the edges rolled up.
- Drizzle with olive oil and add spices to taste—try salt, pepper, oregano and basil.
- Cook for approximately 25 minutes or until done.
Directions: Broccoli, 2 cups
- Wash broccoli
- Chop into florets, so you've got lots of small heads. Try to make them approximately the same size to ensure even cooking.
- Drop into a bowl with about 4 tbsp. of water.
- Cover bowl with a plate.
- Microwave in 30-second intervals until done—the broccoli should be firm, not mushy.
Fruit Smoothie with Strawberries, Blueberries and Raspberries
- Pour package of low-fat yogurt and a few ice cubes into a blender.
- Wash all fruits thoroughly.
- Chop strawberries in half lengthwise. The leaves are edible, but you can remove them if you like.
- Dump strawberries, blueberries and raspberries into blender.
- Serve cold.
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