The Way Cheerleaders Should Eat

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Cheerleading requires strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and coordination. In order to meet these physical demands, proper nutrition and diet are crucial. No matter what the age, cheerleaders exert tons of energy, sweat and tears while they practice day after day for hours at a time. Although you may know your routine inside and out and feel ready to take the mat, your body needs to be nutritionally ready as well. What you eat leading up to practice and competition days can impact how well you perform on the mat. A proper diet can keep you energized, alert and even enhance your performance.

Your body needs a healthy combination of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  Below are some simple guidelines that may help you prepare your body for practice and competition day.

What & When to Eat:

Before

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Eat foods with high carbohydrates: bread, pasta, whole grains, fruits and veggies. Carbs will help you store the sufficient energy needed to get you through your day.

On competition day, be sure not to skip breakfast. Although you may feel quite nervous before the big day, be sure to feed your body with proper nutrients. Eat a healthy breakfast that will fill you up and keep your energy up too! A few examples are: healthy cereals, oatmeal and fruit, bagel with peanut butter, eggs.

During

Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. As you practice and perform, your body is losing fluid and you need to replenish the body in order to prevent dehydration.

During long competition days and practices, pack small healthy snacks to keep you fueled throughout the day. Fresh fruit, nuts and granola or protein bars are just a few ideas.

After

Replenish your body…eat carbs and protein to replace and refuel your body after a strenuous routine or practice.

Continue to drink water to replace fluids.

Remember that what you feed your body leading up to your competition day can greatly impact your performance. Eating too much or eating foods with poor nutrition can make you feel sluggish and may even hold you back from performing at your highest level. If you eat healthy, you will be healthy and the end result will be a high energy performance that you will be proud of!

So remember to eat smart and your body will thank you later.

Good Luck this competition season!

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Jamie Micewski

Jamie is a proud, “Cheer Mom” residing in PA with her husband, son and daughter. She is also a 2nd grade teacher. Jamie spent 13 years of her childhood and teenage years cheering and feels it has helped her mold into the woman, mom, and teacher she is today. Her greatest gift is to watch her daughter embrace that very same sport through the world of All Star Cheerleading.