Do you remember the old adage “Wait one hour after eating before going in the pool”?
Well not only did I never follow that advice, but we discovered that a frisbee makes a great floating plate so we could eat lunch and swim at he same time…And yes, I did survive but my digestive tract grew up along with the rest of me and now the frisbee stays in my beach bag.
During a long day of pickleball you may want to consider adding snacks along with your drinks. Generally, if you have less than 2 hours between games stick with fluids because they will clear the stomach faster to prevent the feeling of eating a brick. You see, when we run around the courts with a full stomach our bodies divert the blood supply from our stomachs to power our muscles. So digestion comes to a halt. You can thank our ancestors for that. We are designed to survive a fight or flee, not hang around to digest a sandwich.
If the break is longer than 2 hours, as is often the case in tournament play, you may want to add a healthy snack. These snacks contribute a significant portion of our total diet so it’s important to make them count. Think of these snacks as a mini meal, so choose 2 to 3 small items to provide carbohydrates, fat and some protein. Don’t forget some salty foods if you have been sweating a lot.
Here are some suggestions: Half a sandwich and a piece of fruit; yogurt and fruit; fig or date bars like Larabars; lowfat cheese and fruit; lowfat chocolate milk; nuts and dried fruit; or raw veggies and hummus.
If you’re playing back to back pickleball games witiout a long break, focus on fluids which also provide some carbohydrate.; sports drinks which are not sugar free, diluted juices or weak lemonade are all good choices.
Before trying between-game foods, we recommend trying it during practice. Eat the food after a practice and see how you feel two to four hours later. If you feel sluggish or have a full stomach, try another food the next time.
See you and your snacks on the courts!
Jennifer Lucore here…. I have to chime into Sandy’s great pickleball snack tips and share my new favorite snack I get from Costco – nature’s bakery fig bars! They are so yummy and good for you – a treat that is both tasty and healthy!