Healthy Lunch Ideas For High School Athletes

Are you a true elite high school athlete?

You sure?

Ok well let me ask you this: What did you eat for lunch?

If you answered “I ate the school lunch” or “A bagel and a pop” then you my friend are NOT an elite high school athlete and I’m calling you out!

Look you might be a top-notch athlete in high school and can eat like crap that’s cool. But I am telling you right now that if you think you can be a college athlete and eat like crap you are out of your friggin mind!!!

You don’t want to be this guy:

rob lowe

The guy who peaked in high school and can’t give up the dream….Don’t be that guy!

Prevent from being this guy by starting to eat healthy lunches today. As always I’m here to help.

To all you parents: PREPARE YOUR KIDS LUNCHES!

Every lunch needs: 

  • Protein 
  • Carbs 
  • Fruits
  • Veggies
  • Dairy 

How much?

  • Protein = 25 grams
  • Carbs = 50-60 grams
  • Fruits = 1-2 servings
  • Veggies = 1-2 servings
  • Dairy = at least 1 serving

Where can I turn to for 25 grams or protein and why so much?

Well we all know protein is a staple for athletes. It’s the fuel that builds muscle back up after we break it down. High school athletes are constantly breaking down muscle fibers and lunch time is a perfect opportunity to build it back up. Plus the athletes have a lot of time to digest the proteins being that lunch is usually around 11:00 and practices are generally at 3:00.

Sources for 25 grams of protein can be:

  • 1 Whole Wheat Pita with Turkey
  • 1 Advocare Muscle Gain pouch with 8 oz water
  • 1 3.5 oz piece of Grilled Chicken Breast
  • 1 Tuna Sandwich
  • 1 Turkey and Cheese Sandwich on Wheat Bread

What about the carbs?

When we digest carbs they turn into glucose.

Glucose is the sugar that your muscles use for fuel! The more fuel the better the practice which leads to optimal performance when it comes game time.

Athletes are not regular people. I work with a lot of adult clients and yes I require them to cut back on carbs most of the time. It’s a totally different story for athletes.  Ever think of the word carbo”hydrate”

It’s named that for the reason that it is the only macro nutrient we can use without oxygen. Simply put when you sprint or do anything “all out” you can only rely on carbs for fuel. Don’t neglect the carbs!

Sources of 50-60 grams of carbs: 

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cooked Oatmeal
  • Long Grained Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • 2 Medium Bananas
  • 1 Whole Wheat Bagel

How much fruit and veggies?

This is probably the easiest portion of the lunch. Veggies and fruits require no preparation. Just plop them in the bag and you are good to go. Fruits and veggies are loaded with minerals and vitamins that are crucial for any athlete. Plus these are the good carbs and the stuff you need to be elite.

Here are some awesome fruit and veggies to pack: 

  • Kiwi (my favorite)
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Celery (remember the snack ants on a log? I love those!)
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes

Dairy?

Yep. You need the dairy for calcium. Milk gets a bad rap these days and I can’t stand it. Kids need milk for strong bones. I’ll go into that one later….

A great source of dairy can provide high amounts of not only calcium but great carbs and proteins too! For the best results just stick to 1 serving of dairy at lunch.

Some great sources: 

  • 1 Carton of chocolate milk
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt sprinkled with granola and fruit!

Let’s put it all together for 1 great lunch: 

  • 1 Whole Wheat Pita with Turkey and Cheese
  • 2 Cups fat-free plain greek yogurt sprinkled with granola and strawberries
  • 20 ounces of water
  • 1 Cup of Chocolate Milk
  • 1 handful of carrots

BOOM! Now you are ready to be an elite athlete.

Chase It!

Ben Boudro

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