As a gymnast, or any athlete, hitting the gym for long hours of intense practice is rough on the body. Eating for training and getting your nutrition right is key to perform your best and avoid injury.
For those of you who haven’t been following me long, I have a little sister who is a competitive gymnast. I thought it would be fun to do a full day of what she is eating for her training.
She is on a team that consists of a small group of girls. She is by far the youngest at only 8 years old. She’s a determined little thing and for the most part she hangs in there with the older girls!
She is the little one on the end, so as you can see there is a massive age and size difference!
For my sister the arrival of summer doesn’t mean lazy days at the beach and sleeping in late. NO….. for a competitive gymnast this is improvement season which means hitting the gym 6 hours a day 5 days a week. To support this kind of activity getting the proper nutrition is incredibly important!
**disclaimer: The caloric needs for every gymnast is different. I am not a doctor so talk to your health care provider to decide the ideal diet for you****
Whats Key when Eating for Training
Carbs and Hydration!
This girl needs ALLLLL the bagels. Her body will store the carbs as glycogen in her muscles. This will serve as her power source. She must also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated replacing everything lost from sweating all day.
As in any well-balanced diet a good dose of healthy fat and ample amounts of protein are both important. A protein heavy dinner and evening snack will help repair tissue and muscle damage caused by intense workouts.
A gymnasts day of Eating for Training
To fuel all those flips, tumbles and pull-ups she starts her day with a bagel with cream cheese and fruit.
Mid Morning snack:
More carbs in the form of Banana Baked Oatmeal Bars keep her energy level up.
Keep the carbs coming! Grapes, croutons, pepperoni, and plum. Also, some Nutella sticks, because this munchkin loves Nutella!
Mid afternoon snack:
She usually nibbles on pepperoni, more Nutella sticks, or Energy Balls on the way home from the gym. And since we drive by a McDonald’s on the way home frequent stops for soft serve ice cream are necessary.
Dinner is always protein packed. She loves her meat and as I mentioned above it will help with muscle recovery. Healthy Turkey Burrito Bowls is one of here favorite dinners.
This recipe is great because it’s a complete meal in one and is easily prepped ahead. So in 30 minutes 4-5 of these meals can be thrown together and popped in the fridge for her all week. As a typical 8-year-old she could care less, and actually likes eating the same thing every night. Kinda like movies, she will watch the same movie over and over a million times. I have seen the new Beauty and the Beast movie sooooooooo many times at this point!……..but anyways I digress.
This is her typical Dessert
Like I said she loves her Nutella. Straight up with a spoon is her preferred way to eat it. I know this is sugar filled and not the best choice, but she enjoys it and only has a few bites. Otherwise she will have chocolate ice cream. But other great options would be Carrot Cake Egg Crepes
Questions of the Day:
Do you eat differently on heavy training days?
Do you crave ALLLLLLL the carbs when you workout for a long time?
Have you seen the new Beauty and the Beast movie?