If you’re planning to travel in the near future, don’t forget that being away doesn’t mean you should stop eating well. In fact, your body needs the best nutrition in times of stress, like when an athlete is competing far from home.
Good food: you CAN take it with you
In your backpack:
- Granola bars
- Nut butter packet
- Trail mix
- Whole grain cereal
- Shelf-stable milk
- Bananas, apples or oranges
- Protein Power Bites (see recipe below)
On a plane:
- Mixed nuts
- Cheese sticks
- Roasted chickpeas
- Veggie sticks
- Whey protein powder in a shaker bottle
In the car:
- Keep a cooler with veggies, hummus, yogurt and cheese
- Homemade popcorn
- Tuna or chicken pouches
MORE TRAVEL TIPS
- Start well-hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you and avoid caffeine while on the road or in the air.
- Take hand sanitizer for eating when you’re unable to wash your hands.
- Bring reading, puzzles, homework or podcasts to avoid eating out of boredom.
- Travel food can lack fiber. Grab fruit, nuts or veggies when you can.
- When traveling across two or more time zones, adjust your eating times to the new time zone as quickly as possible
- Do foot circles, shoulder shrugs or neck stretches if confined to a seat on a bus or a plane. Get up and move around as allowed.
- Bring a couple of resistance bands with you to do some simple strength exercises on the go.
- If you’re planning on squeezing in a training session while traveling, make recovery nutrition a priority. Carry a shelf-stable protein drink or whey protein powder for a quick, convenient recovery boost.
Sample snack: Protein Power Bites
These little nuggets of nutrition and flavor are so versatile—use whatever fruit and flavors you like! For example, try vanilla protein powder, cinnamon and raisins for an oatmeal cookie twist. Or substitute chocolate protein powder with coconut and chia seeds to for a sweet, powerful hit of nutrition on the go.
- 2.5 cups natural peanut butter
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 6 scoops strawberry protein powder
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup crisped rice cereal
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas.
- Combine peanut butter and mashed bananas.
- In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients (protein powder, oats, crushed cereal).
- Add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter and banana mixture and combine.
- Roll each ball to be about 1 in. x 1 in.
- Place in a sealable container or Ziploc baggie to store for later.
GET THE SCOOP
Explore restaurant options in your area before you arrive. This can be especially helpful for athletes with dietary constraints or allergies.
Look for menu items with vegetables first. Carbs, protein and fat are usually easy to find when eating out.
Scan the menu for terms like “baked,” “broiled,” “grilled,” “roasted,” or request to have things made how you like.
GET YOUR FIX
Ask for whole grain bread, extra veggies or grilled chicken instead of crispy. Most restaurants will serve things on the side if you ask.
BALANCE IT OUT
Maybe the cheese-smothered enchiladas sing to you. Get what sounds good and be smart about balancing it out with a colorful, veg-heavy side item.
Choose broth-based soups or chili for a filling, nutritious accompaniment.
WASH IT DOWN!
Water, milk and 100% fruit juice are great choices.