Long practice and hunger

Discussion in 'Women's Artistic Gymnastics (WAG)' started by gymmommy123, Feb 2, 2013.

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  1. gymmommy123

    gymmommy123 New Member Proud Parent

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    My DD has been doing 4 hr practices for a couple weeks now. She seems to be fine for the practice, IF I can get her to eat a fair amount prior to gym (i.e., lunch of turkey sandwich, fruit, milk, and then an hour later, a protein bar and some carrots on the way to the gym) However, when she has Sat. a.m. practices, she tends to want to eat very little before we go, and then energy level starts to die after a couple hours, and today, she actually got nauseous and asked to leave a little early (unheard of for her to want to leave!) She was really pasty and sickly looking. After she ate a snack in the car, she perked up again. She's not a big morning eater anyway, usually a little cereal is all she eats.

    So a couple questions... what are good gymmie breakfasts? She used to LOVE eggs, but the last 2 weeks I've made her scrambled eggs and she'll only eat 1 bite. Something fairly healthy that will fuel for 4 hrs. Also, what are thoughts from parents/coaches about drinking Gatorade during practice. I used to let her drink it over the summer, but the coach at her old gym said NO Gatorade during practice, as she didn't like the girls to have sugar spikes. At her current gym, they say absolutely no food during practice, but is there some sort of quick drink that might be ok halfway through, i.e., the little yogurt smoothie drinks? Just a little something to keep her going? Is this common to have no food during practice? I'm guessing they don't want full bellies and all that exercise, but I also don't want her keeling over, lol. She's so tiny, it's a long time to go with no fuel.

    Thanks!
     

  2. catou

    catou Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    I don't think she'll have sugar spikes with gatorade if she drinks it regularly during training. Maybe she could bring some in a non clear bottle, so nobody will know she brought some? I don't like the idea of doing that in the back of the coach, but it is proven that for a prolonged activity, the body needs to be refueled, or the muscles get tired and the person's perception of the effort is higher. My girls also have a 4 hours training session on sunday morning and they have a 10 minutes break. They usually have some fruits, crackers, cheese or a tender bar. Maybe she could bring something to eat, but take a couple of bites, everytime she goes to drink? Chocolate milk is also a very good thing to drink after exercise..
     
  3. gymmommy123

    gymmommy123 New Member Proud Parent

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    Thanks Catou. It wasn't her current coach, but her old HC that had that rule about the Gatorade, but I thought maybe it was common?? Once, I tried sending her in with a little lunchbox with a couple carrots and a half a protein bar. She tried to take a quick bite on a drink break, and was told NO FOOD during practice. Seems a long time for 6 yr old with no food, but I'm sure there are valid reasons they don't want them eating. Maybe I'll have to try Gatorade again, at least for her Saturday practices. Today, she ate 1/2 a banana and 1 piece of toast an hr before gym, and refused anything else, so I wasn't surprised when she didn't feel well by the end of practice. I could hardly sit around and watch TV on such a small amount of food for that long, let alone with hard exercise for that long!
     
  4. catou

    catou Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    I've you tried a bit of food in the car on the way to training? Apart, for that, I guess she'll have to eat more in the morning.... Give her some protein (peanut butter, eggs, yogourt, milk) and fibers (fruits, cereals, bread (ideally whole wheat bread). Ideally she should eat an aliment from each of the theses categories: meat and substitutes, diary products, vegetables and fruits, and cereal products. So for example, a glass of milk with a toast with bananas and peanut butter and a fruit (or a glass of 100% juice) would do the job. The fruit could be eaten or drank on her way to training.
     

  5. Kiwi

    Kiwi Coach Coach Proud Parent Gymnast Judge

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    My DD has Up'n'Go and bananas before long practices and competitions. Sometimes she will have a couple of cheese slices.
     
  6. Moxiegrl83

    Moxiegrl83 New Member Proud Parent

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    Have you asked her HC? Most are pretty reasonable, and a Gatorade and a quick snack during practice isn't a big deal in most gyms. Our girls don't take scheduled breaks, but they can go get a drink, and eat a few grapes, crackers, etc. while they do it.
     
  7. Vaibicy

    Vaibicy New Member

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    I'm not a coach or a parent but how about smoothies? It would be good before and during practice. You can toss in fruits, berries, bananas, sneak in some tofu for protein, and even a little bit of spinach. See if your daughter will drink it in the morning (probably stands a better chance than scrambled eggs and toast). I don't have much of an appetite in the mornings either, but I find I do have a better one when I get a good nights sleep. Is she sleeping long and well enough? But no matter what you give, if only one or two bites are taken, it's no use.

    As for gatorade, I don't see how it's so bad but don't let her have a lot. My previous gym and current gym don't have anything against gatorade, but they do prefer that gymnasts, especially younger ones, drink water instead. Maybe you could, like catou said, sneak in the smoothie in a opaque water bottle? Honestly, I don't like the policy the gym has about no food. Gyms usually don't allow food during training but allow it during break. Have a talk with the coach since this is about your daughter's well-being, which is more important than anything.

    Good luck!
     
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  8. coachmolly

    coachmolly Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    You could try fruit and yogurt smoothies in the morning. It might seem to her a little less like eating and more like a treat. Greek yogurt and/or peanut butter would get some protein into her and adding her favorite fruits. You could even sneak in some "healthy" stuff like veggies or wheat germ. I've mixed spinach and kale into smoothies with some success (just blend well so you don't get strands/to remove all evidence) and I've read that tomatoes and carrots mix well into fruit smoothies.
     
  9. cbifoja

    cbifoja New Member CBBC Board Member Proud Parent

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    Does she not get any kind of snack break during these 4 hours????? I hope I'm misunderstanding because I can't imagine my child working out THAT hard for 4 hours without a break. She makes it through 3.5 hours with a break where she re-fuels with a light snack. She's keel over without that.
     
  10. gymmommy123

    gymmommy123 New Member Proud Parent

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    You're right, will probably have to just find out if she can eat a quick snack. Smoothies are a great idea. Will have to pick up some supplies for those as she loves them, and maybe could buy a protein powder to add extra calories. She does eat in the car on the way, and I try to do really balanced meals before gym, but some days she just doesn't seem very hungry. I made her 2 scrambled eggs, toast with butter and jam, and a glass of milk this morning. She ate the toast, 1 bite of eggs, and 1/4 of her milk. So I forced the banana on her in the car. But it obviously wasn't enough. They don't take any breaks, but they do have drink breaks every rotation.
     
  11. DND

    DND New Member Proud Parent

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    My DD does not like to eat in am either, but make her have eggs on training days for sure.

    I do also warm up a huge coffee mug of chocolate milk and add the carnation chocolate breakfast (powder) to it.

    That way when the dogs sneak a couple of bites then I am not so worried.
     
  12. JBS

    JBS Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    We allow our kids to eat healthy snacks...we encourage it. We do have a no Gatorade rule most of the time (all of our younger teams have a no Gatorade rule)...

    Disadvantages Of Drinking Gatorade | LIVESTRONG.COM

    Gatorade is high in sugar. Many kids definitely have sugar spikes when drinking Gatorade.

    We use Gatorade...actually we use Powerade...during the summer when the older kids are sweating like crazy. We also do lots of outdoor conditioning in the summer with our teens as it is much more fun and motivating for them...Powerade time.
     
  13. gymmommy123

    gymmommy123 New Member Proud Parent

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    Thanks for the Gatorade link JBS. I am not worried about calories for her, but do like to limit the sugar... and it sure has a LOT! Maybe that's not a great idea to re-introduce.
     
  14. JBS

    JBS Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    Here is another article...there are many more on this one...

    Sugar Rush In Children | LIVESTRONG.COM

    At our gym we see exactly what this article says...some kids act weird with sugar and some don't. We did notice that the kids with red Gatorade mustaches were acting weird more than the others.
     
  15. catou

    catou Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    They try to have breaks for water between rotations? If it's like us, we have rotations lasting half an hour. The girls have to go drink in between apparatus, even if they aren't thirsty. I can't imagine someone practicing gymnastics without drinking at least once every half hour. Children can get deshydrated more easily as they don't feel thirst as much as we do.
     
  16. JBS

    JBS Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    Also...to be honest...we allow clear water bottles on the floor with the gymnasts...we don't want our carpet stained from the Gatorade. If a parent had a reason why they needed their child to drink Gatorade at certain times...I wouldn't have an issue. It would just have to stay by their shoes...not on the floor.

    I also believe their is some research on diet and ADHD. We have several kids with ADHD. Anyone know how sugary drinks affect kids with ADHD?
     
  17. gymmommy123

    gymmommy123 New Member Proud Parent

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    I think rotations are about 45 minutes each apparatus, and then of course they drink after warm-up, and before sort of a "cool-down" period (usually handstands, headstands, handstand press). I would guess they are drinking every 30-45 minutes. It's a small gym, and the kids can run to the bathroom if they need to, and I would imagine, get another drink, if they are really thirsty. I don't think she drinks enough, but that isn't because of breaks, but simply because she isn't a huge water drinker. That may change when it warms up around here though. Right now, it's quite cool in the gym. We used to mix both my kids water with half Propel, to encourage more water drinking, but Propel has artificial sugar, and I'm not real fond of that either :-(
     
  18. catou

    catou Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    Another alternative to gatorade could be to mix some orange juice, water and a bit of salt.
     
  19. gymgal

    gymgal New Member CBBC Board Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    sounds like you haven't talked with the coach about this yet. I would do this first to get a better understanding of why the rule is in place and maybe you can work out a plan for her. As for breakfast, smoothies are great. most kids who are not morning eaters will usually do ok with smoothies. Pasteurized egg whites, Greek yogurt, protein powder are all good sources of protein. Add some berries and a banana. Good to go. adding a little fat is a good idea to give extra calories.

    Sent from my AT100 using ChalkBucket mobile app
     
  20. 2G1B

    2G1B New Member Proud Parent

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    I would honestly have a real issue if any of my kids (two 8 year olds and a 6 year old) were practicing for 4 hours and not allowed to have more than a little water during that time. Little kids have to eat more often than older kids. they also do better when they aren't hungry. For that age, hunger will totally throw a kid for a loop!

    At our gym if practice is over 3 hours then there is time for a snack. At our old gym time for a snack was included in practices over 2.5 hours. It is supposed to be healthy and I like to go for stuff like greek yogurt.

    I do make smoothies for my kids and add spinach and greek yogurt in. I tried protein powder and my son said it was disgusting.
     
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