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Choose Your Own Adventure: The Ultimate Smoothie

By Seanna Thomas, Nutrition Consultant, 02/19/24, 1:45PM EST

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Options for carbs, nutrition and protein

There are two simple ways you can fuel your body as a young athlete.

The first is to fuel your body with the right foods before activity.
The second is to fuel your recovery afterwards. 

Both can be very simple with a bit of planning and knowledge!

Here are some rules to remember:

  • Before activity, you need energy.
  • The best quick source of energy for young athletes is carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates like fruit (fresh or dried) are excellent options. My favourite is a banana! Portable, pre-portioned, and already packed up. It’s perfect before any activity.

Other great options include crackers, toast and jam, or cereal.

What to avoid before activity? 
Too much protein, fibre, or fat. These nutrients take longer for your body to digest so they could be sitting in your belly like a brick instead of giving you the energy you want.

The second simple way to fuel your body is to focus on recovery. The more you nourish your muscles after activity, the more easily they will recover.

After activity, your body needs protein to help your muscles recover and repair, carbohydrates to replenish your energy stores, and fats to help fight inflammation.

Some of my favourites are trail mix, fruit and yogurt parfait with granola, a sandwich, wrap, or smoothie! Just make sure you have something within an hour. It’s the best time to help your body recover.

If you can get into the habit of fuelling and nourishing your body before and after activity, you will be ahead of the rest!

Nutrition tends to be an afterthought but making these small simple changes can make a HUGE difference in energy and recovery.

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Smoothie:


Carbohydrates:
1-2 cups of your favourite fruit!

  • Banana
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Mango

Add something fun for more nutrition!

  • Citrus
  • Ginger
  • Oats
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Cinnamon

Then of course, liquid.

  • Milk
  • Juice
  • Water

Blend it up for a perfect pre-game smoothie. If you want to change it up to be a post-game smoothie, just add some protein.

Protein Ideas:

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Peanut Butter (or alternative)
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Chia Seeds
  • Skim Milk Powder
  • Cottage Cheese

You can double up and make one of each so you’re prepared for both pre- and post-game! Play around and find your favourite combo.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Seanna Thomas is a Nutrition Consultant, Mom to 3 active kids, and founder of Hockey Snacks Inc., where she provides nutrition information for young athletes, sports teams, families, and organizations. Seanna regularly appears on CP24 Breakfast, & is a contributor to Triathlon Magazine Canada, as well as multiple other publications. Seanna focuses on whole foods with a spotlight on creating realistic healthy habits. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and seannathomas.com. In her downtime, she enjoys being outdoors with her family and relaxing at home with her husband and a well-deserved glass of wine (and maybe watching a hockey game).


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