Nutrition

UOIT Ridgeback’s Women’s Soccer Fitness Coach Tip of the Day – Day 25 – Fast Food

The Canadian University Soccer season is here, and this year marks my 3rd season as Assistant Coach and Fitness Coach with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks Women’s Varsity Soccer Team.  This season, I will be blogging every day with a ‘Tip of the Day’ – a small piece of information about the testing, training, monitoring, or performance analysis I am doing with the team.

Today’s Tip of the Day is about eating healthy on the road.  In university soccer, road games typically occur on weekends, with long (3-plus hours) drives in addition to some over-night stays in cities around Ontario.  Typically, teams must stop for food during the drives and/or the over-night stays, and the spending money distributed to the players for food may not be more than $5-10 per day.  With this type of budget, many teams have no choice but to stop at fast food restaurants to eat while on the road.

Just because you eat at a fast food restaurant, however, does not mean you cannot eat healthy.  In general, athletes should try to get the following out of each meal on the road:

  • 2-4 servings of complex carbohydrates
  • 1 serving of complete protein
  • 1-2 servings of fruits and/or vegetables
  • (maybe) 1 serving of dairy
  • total number of calories: between 300 and 700 per meal

Below are some examples of healthy meals that can be eaten at popular fast food restaurants, which will allow players to get all or most of the required nutrients listed above:

  1. McDonalds: grilled classic chicken sandwich (no mayonnaise), fruit and walnut salad.  Total calories: 630
  2. Burger King: Jr. Whopper, tender-gill chicken salad.  Total calories: 510
  3. Subway: 6-inch grilled turkey sub, honey oat bread, 2-3 vegetable toppings, medium salad with Italian dressing.  Total calories: 365
  4. Tim Horton’s: toasted chicken club sandwich, whole wheat bread.  Medium fruit/yogurt.  Total calories: 420

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic.  Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.

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