SnackTime: Cheer Practice Essentials

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For most cheerleaders, hunger pangs typically strike right after school and in the early evening. So it’s important to plan ahead and stay fueled. While you have been in school all day and lunch was hours ago or you’re looking forward to your Mom making your favorite meal tonight- your stomach is growling.

I have learned from experience to never eat a full meal before practice. You’ll need energy to sustain you through practice, however, you don’t want a full stomach. That will lead to sluggishness, upset stomach, and in some cases even worse. So my Go To snacks will curb my appetite and give me energy without slowing me down.

Water is the best thing to drink while exercising.  You can also try a sports drink- not only do they replace water to keep you hydrated, they have electrolytes and carbs to fuel your muscles. I drink one before practice and then switch to water during practice. If you happen to have any cramps, try another sports drink, your muscles are starving! Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep you going, not just during practice. Special bonus- water is great for your skin complexion! Read this blog on Proper Nutrition for Cheerleaders for more helpful tips.

What to eat…? There are so many choices out there! So, you may have to experiment a little to find out what works best for you. I have tried protein bars, energy bars, granola bars and even corn chips.

Any type of granola bar will work. It helps you feel full and gives you plenty of energy. They are great for when you have a limited time frame and have to eat on the go. I personally like the ones with whole nuts, berries and grains with natural sweeteners like honey. And the more natural the better. I also feel better about what I’m putting in my body when I’m wolfing one (or two) down. For some cool snack tips, check this link. 

Another go to choice is a pre-packaged nut, cheese and berry kits. These do take a little longer to eat but are well worth it. You can even make your own mix at home to suit your taste. Pick you nuts, berries, cheese and anything else you want to add, put them in a baggie and viola- snack mix on the go. These snack mixes are also great for anyone with food sensitivities. You can add the stuff you like but leave out anything you can’t eat.

Just experiment to find out which snacks work best for your time frame, gauge your energy levels, and stay consistent. Happy Snacking!

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Tamar Mooney

Tamar is a competitive cheerleader for a community cheer squad in New York. She has been a cheerleader since she was five years old and loves performing with her friends and teammates.

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