Nutrition is a key component of an athlete’s training program. Good nutrition provides fuel for workouts and games, as well as nutrients for muscle growth and recovery. The caloric needs of baseball players are slightly lower than other athletes, since activity in a baseball game is not continuous. Consider these general dietary guidelines:
- Consume 2 to 3 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight per day. Good sources include whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables.
- Consume .5 to .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. Good sources include fish, chicken, turkey, eggs and yogurt.
- Choose heart-healthy fats, such as olive oil and nuts.
- Pre-game meals provide energy that lasts the entire game. For night games, eat your biggest meal of the day at lunch or late afternoon, so you won’t be hungry after the game and be tempted to eat late at night.
- Avoid greasy foods, as they may upset your stomach. If you need a snack right before the game, make it a healthy one, such as an apple or peanut butter crackers.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and sports drinks before, during and after activity to prevent dehydration. After play, eat a healthy meal with lots of fluids to restore depleted energy. Avoid dehydrating, caffeinated beverages like iced tea and soda. Learn more about dehydration and heat-related illness.