All for sports!

Kristine Lilly Q&A (Topic: Snacks & Hydration)

Q: Kristine, what are some ideas for quick healthy pre and post workout snacks? Give us some of your secrets as it relates to snacks and hydration.

When I played on the U.S. Team we were fortunate to have had a great nutritionist come talk to our team. Two things stood out the most to me. 1. The amount of calories I was eating wasn’t enough. 2. The importance of hydration.

Female athletes tend to not eat enough food to fuel their bodies to go through the high level workouts. I was one of them. It is so important to have enough fuel (food) in your body to be able to train at high levels. So to increase my fuel intake I started to add a snack in between meals. It helped my calorie intake and gave me more energy. Some of the snacks I would eat would be apple with peanut butter, a sports bar, cheese/ crackersnand yogurt. The other part of fueling your body is also eating after a workout. We were always told to eat with in a 2-hour window to replenish our bodies and help our muscles recover. Some of our past post game/practice snack were; bagels, fruit, beef jerky, chocolate shakes, Gatorade and sports bars. It was helpful to have our locker room ready with snacks after a game to make it easy on us to eat and recover.

Hydration is the other ingredient in my training that hit home for me.  When we were training in Florida for the 1996 Olympics we had to weigh in before and after training. The reason being is the coaches wanted to see how much water weight we would lose. I lost between 2 to 3 pounds every practice! It really hit home to me that in the Florida heat how much water we sweat out. It was important to hydrate throughout the day, not just before running or practice or a game.  Hydration is a way of life and one that I have kept a part of mine to this day.  Here is my secret: I drink my water out of a straw! I have a plastic cup with a top and straw and constantly drink and refill it all day! I carry it where ever I go! (If I want to spice it up a bit I add and slice of lemon)

You don’t have to be a high level athlete to focus on these two things. You have to care about yourself and your health. I no longer play at the highest level but I am still active and work out regularly. I still see the importance of being healthy and eating right. I still eat three meals a day and snack in between them.  I snack on Lunar bars, nuts and pretzels, fruit and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  My post workout snacks have changed a little. I now make my own homemade smoothies.

Take care of yourself. Eat right, hydrate and get out there and workout.  Find something you love to do and sweat.