The three core habits for maximizing performance that sports dietitian and American Dairy Association North East sports nutrition advisory panelist Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, CSSD focused on during her Instagram takeovers this November and December were: fuel, refuel and consistency.
The FUEL habit focused around the fact that food is literally fuel for the body, and how what you choose to eat and not to eat/drink can impact performance. With fueling, an emphasis was placed on the importance of having at least five to six meals and snacks per day, which is a must for athletes to meet their nutrient needs. An important strategy that Molly shared is for athletes to have a “game plan” for their eating routine that outlines what they are going to have for meals and snacks. Having a plan will make the fueling happen and will help athletes to keep their energy levels up.
With the REFUEL habit, a key message for athletes focused on hydrating and delivering key nutrients to replenish tired muscles routinely after workouts, games/events, and practices. Essential refueling nutrients include: fluids, carbohydrates, and protein — along with other nutrient-rich ingredients. A quick refueling option Molly shared is chocolate milk, which delivers a perfect mix of the refueling nutrients (fluids, carbs, and protein) along with other imperative nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium. Molly even shared one of her go-to smoothie recipes to refuel after workouts which consisted of a blend of chocolate milk, peanut butter, and banana.
Chocolate Banana Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup chocolate milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- Add the milk, banana and peanut butter into a blender and blend until it is a smooth consistency.
- Pour, serve and enjoy!
The CONSISTENCY habit focused on routine meals and snacks, highlighting the importance of hydration every day and getting enough sleep every night. Ideas were provided for nutrient-rich snacks, including breakfast. Molly shared one of her own breakfast favorites, a yogurt bowl, which is yogurt topped with whole grain granola and fruit. Another great tip to help with consistency is to have a water bottle with you throughout the day to help meet hydration goals.
Many practical suggestions were shared to help athletes around the three habits; tips to help set athletes up for success by stocking up on nutrient-rich snacks, preparing foods ahead of time for busy days, and having ingredients for easy to prepare meals to fuel the body. Molly even shared some favorite motivation Monday quotes throughout her Instagram story takeovers!