Proper nutrition is the key to athletes of all kinds, whether college-level or recreational. Natalie Allen, clinical instructor and dietitian for athletes at Missouri State University, says that knowing when to eat is as important as what to eat.
“Research shows that if you eat or drink something that has protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of finishing activity, you will build muscle, replenish muscle and hydrate better,” said Allen. “We provide milk to our athletes after practices and workouts because it meets all of these requirements.”
Easy peanut butter dip
Allen recommends keeping nutritious snacks simple so you are more likely to make them or have them ready when you need them.
“This peanut butter yogurt dip is both tasty and nutritious,” said Allen. “The peanut butter contains the protein your muscles need and vitamins and minerals from the apples help repair these muscles.”
One (1) six (6) ounce container of plain Greek yogurt
Three (3) tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
Three (3) teaspoons of honey
- Place the Greek yogurt, peanut butter and honey in a small bowl.
- Stir the ingredients until smoothly combined.
- Serve with apple slices, graham crackers or pretzels.
Servings: Three (3), 1/4 cup servings
Nutrition info (per serving):
9 grams of fat
7 grams of protein
13 grams of carbohydrates
Easy homemade granola
This granola is packed with protein and can be made ahead for the week, said Allen.
“It has nuts for protein and oats for carbohydrates,” said Allen. “You could add it to the peanut butter dip, put it in a yogurt parfait or pour milk over it and eat it as cereal for breakfast.”
You can also customize the granola by adding chocolate chips, raisins, craisins or marshmallows after it has cooled.
|Three (3) cups of old-fashioned oats||One (1) teaspoon of cinnamon|
|1/2 cup of brown sugar||1/2 cup of honey|
|One (1) cup of almonds||1/4 cup of oil|
|One (1) cup of cashews||3/4 teaspoon of salt (optional)|
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Combine dry ingredients (oats, brown sugar, almonds, cashews, and cinnamon) in a large bowl.
- Combine the honey, oil and salt together in a small bowl.
- Pour the honey and oil mixture over the dry ingredients, then mix well.
- Line a jelly roll pan with foil, then spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour the granola evenly on to the pan, spreading where necessary.
- Bake the granola for 30 minutes, then stir.
- Bake for another 30 minutes, then stir.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven.
- Stir the granola and let sit to cool.
Servings: 18, 1/3 cup servings
Nutrition information (per serving):
24 grams of carbohydrates
5 grams of protein
10 grams of fat