Baseball players aren’t afraid to admit that their schedules are absolute insanity. Between all of their practices, games, skill work, traveling, and workouts — they are more a baseball player than they are a regular human being.
With a schedule like this, it’s important to have some back-up plans for your nutrition in case things start totally falling apart from a timing perspective.
The average person who doesn’t have knowledge in the arena of health and performance will typically grab a snack high in refined carbohydrates when they are on the go (in other words, junk).
In contrast, if you look at the habits of bodybuilders you’ll notice that they just reach for protein.
Eating carbohydrates by itself isn’t smart and won’t do much for baseball players, but, eating protein alone might leave you short on calories.
Remember, the whole reason we have a “back up” plan is because you’re on the go and training so much, this means you need plenty of calories to keep your energy levels up and to support proper recovery.
If you had to pick only between those two options, the protein-only option is better because it will be more beneficial for weight management and skeletal muscle recovery, but, a better idea would be to combine the two (while simultaneously dropping the “refined” carbohydrates out of the equation).
Meal Planning Emergencies
One of the easiest things to pack on busy days is:
- One scoop of protein powder
- One medium-size fruit of your choice
- Handful of raw nuts
These three items do not require refrigeration, they support recovery, they support performance, and the combination of them will work very well to balance your blood sugar levels.
Not to mention it’s also just an extremely healthy snack on top of being beneficial for baseball.
These items are easy to keep in your desk, your car, your backpack, or your locker.
You can even fit all three in a shaker bottle. Put the powder in a ziploc bag in the bottle, throw in a handful of raw nuts, and put a banana in there or leave it on the side.
Then when you’re ready, find a water fountain the mix your shake up with and take your food out and eat it. Two minutes and your done. Easy Peasy.
What About Protein Bars?
Many of the so-called protein bars are really just candy bars with a scoop of protein added to them.
Just because you put lipstick on a pig doesn’t mean she’s pretty.
Crap is still crap, even if you add some protein to it.
You’re easily likely to find refined sugars, trans fats, corn syrup, and a handful of artificial ingredients you probably can’t even pronounce. Most of these are also very calorie dense for their small size, even for the active baseball athlete.
If I haven’t made it clear, most bars are not ideal.
If you can find a bar high in protein and all-natural ingredients it’s a step in the right direction. But, making your own at home is probably best here if you insist on having bars.
What About Smoothies?
If your gym or a health food store nearby makes fresh smoothies for you, this can actually be a great option. Way better than opting for a bar.
Use a similar formula as my first recommendation: pick a protein (whey), pick a healthy carb (fruit), and pick a healthy fat (nuts).
This is a great on-the-go option to keep you satisfied until your next real meal.
What About Fast-food?
Surprisingly enough, almost all fast-food joints have a grilled chicken salad option now. You won’t need to add carbs or fat to this because they almost always contain an oil-based dressing and dried cranberries on them.
If you only have fast food around you, go with this option. It checks all the boxes and is much better than most nutrition authorities give it credit for.
What About a Convenience Store?
Convenience stores are normally where great physique go to die, nearly everything in these stores is only there because it’s shelf life is good for many years.
This is good for profits, but not so good for your body composition, health, or baseball performance.
The saving grace here is that most convenience stores have hard boiled eggs and some sort of fruit.
Beyond this, they also usually have a “canned food” section where you can get tuna or salmon. And in the cold-section I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t some type of single-serving Greek Yogurt for you to take as well.
So although it’s not ideal, you still have some options here that are far better than just giving up and letting everything go.
There is always a way when you’re a committed athlete.
If getting caught without food happens to you a lot, you need to spend more time planning your schedule and preparing food in advance.
If you miss a meal completely, don’t stress out. Just get back on track for your next one.
As long as you follow all the tips, tricks, and formulas that I have laid out for you in my previous blogs at least 80% of the time you will see great results.
When you’re in a pinch, use the above options to get yourself out of it, and if you want access to the training programs that you can accompanying these nutrition recommendations with to get the best possible results click here and let’s get started.