Needless to say, all cereals are not created equal. By reading the Nutrition Facts on the cereal box or eating well magazine, you can see that some offer more nutritional value than others.
Also keep in mind that hungry soccer athletes generally need more than one serving (a standard unit of measure) of cereal; they need a larger portion (the amount chosen to satisfy the appetite) that contributes additional nutrients.
Here are four tips to help you make the best cereal choices.
1.Choose iron-enriched cereals with at least 25% of the Daily Value for iron to help prevent anemia. Note, however, the iron in breakfast cereals is poorly absorbed compared to the iron in lean red meats.you find in eating well magazine But you can enhance iron absorption by drinking a glass of orange juice or enjoying another source of vitamin C (such as grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, or kiwi) along with the cereal. And any iron is better than no iron.
If you tend to eat "all-natural" types of cereals, such as some granolas and shredded wheat, be aware that these types have "no additives," hence no added iron. You might want to mix and match all-natural brands with iron- enriched brands (or make the effort to eat iron-rich foods at other meals).
2.Choose fiber-rich (such as bran) cereals with more than 5 grams of fiber per serving. Fiber not only helps prevent constipation, but is also a protective nutrient that may reduce your risk of colon cancer and heart disease.eating well magazine Whole grain and bran cereals are the best sources of fiber, more so than even fruits and vegetables. Choose from All-Bran, Raisin Bran, Bran Chex, Fiber One, or any of the numerous cereals with "bran" or “fiber” in the name. You can also mix high- and low-fiber cereals (Rice Crispies + Fiber One; Special K +Raisin Bran) to boost their fiber value. Fiber-rich cereal is good for soccer players also because it is a more sustained energy source than refined grains, and thus fuels you for the long run.
If you have trouble with diarrhea when training, you may want to forgo bran cereals! The extra fiber may aggravate the situation.
3.Choose cereals with whole grains listed among the first ingredients.Whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, and oats; these should be listed f irst in the ingredients. Nancy suggests you pay more attention to a cereal's grain content than its sugar or sodium (salt) content. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that fuels your muscles.eating well magazine Yes, sugar calories are nutritionally empty calories. But when they are combined with milk, banana, and the cereal itself, the twenty empty calories in 5 grams of added sugar are insignificant. Obviously, sugar-filled frosted flakes and kids’ cereals with 15 grams of sugar or more per serving are somewhat more like dessert than breakfast.eating well magazine Hence, try to limit your breakfast choices to cereals with fewer than 5 grams of added sugar per serving. Enjoy the sugary ones for snacks or dessert, if desired, or mix a little with low-sugar cereals.
4.Choose primarily low-fat cereals with less than 2 grams of fat per serving.High-fat cereals such as some brands of granola and crunchy cookie-type cereals can add unexpected fat and calories to your sports diet. Select low- fat brands for the foundation of your breakfast; then use only a sprinkling of the higher-fat treats, if desired, for a topping.
When it comes to cereals, you may not find one that meets all of your standards for high fiber, high iron and low fat, but you can always mix-and-match to create a winning combination.eating well magazine The list below highlights how different cereals offer different benefits. Check the nutritional labels of your favorites as well.
Cereal is not for breakfast only! We encourage our players to fill a baggie with cereal to take to games for a convenient post-competition snack. Another fun idea is to “crunch up” other foods and add nutrition with cereal toppings—such as on oatmeal, in yogurt or even in sandwiches
Breakfast on the Road
At a restaurant, you can be confronted with fat-laden cheese omelets, hash browns, sausage, and buttery toast. Take the higher carb route by ordering a fruit cup, oatmeal, and/or egg whites and whole-wheat bagel with jam. If you want a bigger breakfast, or if you’ve played a hard game, refuel with pancakes (increasingly available in whole wheat) or French toast.you can find in eating well magazine that you must Order a large orange juice or tomato juice to help compensate for a potential lack of fruits or veggies in the other meals.
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