5 Ways to Treat Your Performance and Not Trick it By Coach Mike G, CSCS Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.  Nearly, a quarter of the total candy sold in America is on Halloween as well.  With Football and volleyball in the grunt of their high school seasons, and basketball and soccer just about to debut their’s, many young athletes will be exposed to the ‘not so sweet’ goodness that candy brings to an athlete’s body. Here are 5 tips to dampen the blow and avoid a performance drop for athletes but still enjoy the sweet treats that All Hallows Eve brings us.
  1. Do not allow binge eating!  With candy everywhere and accessible, it is very easy to over-eat.  Try limiting your daily consumption to only 5 pieces per day.  This way, your body isn’t exposed to too much sugar and blood sugar can remain stable.  If blood sugar is drastically elevated, like when too much candy is consumed, energy levels can plummet ultimately killing performance.  And your candy supplies last until New Years!
  2. Spread your daily treats over the course of the day.  Grab 5 pieces, have one at your first break, one at lunch, one after school, one after practice, and one after dinner.  This strategy will avoid an massive influx of sugar (sugar rush) to the body which will allow glucose levels to stay level and again, no crash.  It may actually give your brain a little fuel for learning!
  3. Give up ALL other sweets in exchange for candy treats.  If you are going to have your 5 pieces per day, try to sacrifice your daily consumption of soda, ice cream, or pop tarts.
  4. Eat your candy with something healthy.  Have some some nuts, greek yogurt, avocado, or hard boiled eggs before you eat your candy.  This will soften the blow and prevent a sugar rush.
  5. Challenge yourself in NOT eating any candy at all!  Every year I make a personal challenge to myself to wait to eat ANY sweets from Halloween all the way to Christmas.  It makes Christmas desserts taste so much better and it is a great way to build a little mental control.