Fuel For Student Athletes – Why Milk is a Powerhouse Drink


As an athlete, you don’t need extra vitamins, minerals or supplements — you just need to eat the right things. Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all five food groups will give you the energy you need every day.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association recognizes that being active and enjoying great-tasting healthy foods, like nutrient-rich chocolate milk, can help student athletes feel their best and be at the top of their game.

What should I eat and drink before a game?

Food is fuel. It runs your body just like gas runs a car. Remember everyone is different. Drink and eat foods that agree with you and will be digested by game time.

Four hours before the game, start hydrating and consider a high-carbohydrate pre-game meal such as:

  • A baked potato topped with veggies and salsa
  • Pasta with red sauce
  • Brown rice and veggies with a side of fruit

Two hours before the game, continue drinking small amounts of fluid and, if you missed the pre-game meal, eat foods rich in carbohydrates and low in fiber such as:

  • A fruit and yogurt smoothie
  • Toast with jelly
  • Pretzels and fruit
  • Cereal with lowfat or fat-free milk and fruit

30 minutes before the game, hydrate with 8-12 ounces of water.

If you are continuously moving for more than 60 minutes, grab a carbohydrate/electrolyte boost, like a sports drink, with a small serving of fruit.

What about after the game?

After your event, rehydrate with a beverage rich in carbohydrates and electrolytes, such as lowfat or fat-free chocolate milk. It’s just what an athlete needs — a carb: protein ratio of 3:1, is a good source of potassium, and has a moderate amount of sodium.

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