By: Hannah Segur
Softball tournaments require power and strength plus they have the capacity to go all day long. And with a little planning head you will have snacks and drinks to stay hydrated and energized can be tricky throughout the day.
Game times and breaks fluctuate so much in a tournament. If you are lucky, you get a two hour break between games. And sometimes, you have just enough time to run to the bathroom and grab a snack before you play again. Because of this uncertainty, it is important to make sure your player is getting all the right nutrients they need. Although there are lots of options to choose from at the concession stand, most of these foods can actually end up damaging your hydration and energy levels while on the field.
Here are some suggestions to pack along with you:
Fruits are a great snack to have while in between games or even innings. It’s a great source of natural sugar that will boost the glucose levels of your player. Plus fruit is hydrating to the body too! Fruits that are easy to grab and go between innings are perfect for this style sport like grapes, bananas, apples, or orange slices. Reminder: Pack sliced fruit in a cooler bag with ice!
Another great food source for softball players are proteins. Things like cheese and meats are great to consume during game breaks. Try packing along slices of cheese and meats rolled up together for a quick and easy solution. You can even put it on a wrap or bread to make a post-game sandwich as well.
And let’s not forget vegetables! For example,veggies and hummus are fantastic to eat while on the go. Hummus is a source of protein and vegetables have great sources of vitamins and minerals for an active player to consume.
When it comes to hydration, because softball players are often playing in the sun and have the capacity to go nonstop for many hours, aim to bring plenty of water to sip throughout the day. Also layer in sports drinks that have electrolytes to help maximize hydration levels and keep energy up. This is especially important for upper level softball players to meet their energy needs and replace electrolytes lost through exertion, product examples to try Gatorade, Body Armour, or Klean Athlete Hydration (click here to grab our 15% discount on Klean Athlete products). However, if your player is younger or isn't experiencing long periods of intense exercise, then sticking with water will suffice.
Lastly – remember always try new foods and drinks on practice days first before you try them on competition days to ensure they sit well within your stomach. Plus pack snacks like sliced fruit, meat, and cheese in a cooler with ice or ice packs to keep them at a safe temperature.
For more hydration tips, see the Hydration 101 handout in the handout shop!
Content reviewed by sports dietitian: Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, CSSD