I'm looking forward to responding to another blog request from my Instagram account (@monicaabbott)—I’m towards the end of the posts, so be on the look-out for your next chance to put in a request! Again, thank you to everyone for all the posts and suggestions. Now on to the next request!
My next blog goes out to: @pjizzle. He requested, “The impact and importance of nutrition for optimal athletic performance”
Well here’s the thing y'all, there is a ton of nutrition advice out there in the world. But in the end, it is a personal process. Nutrition is a personal adventure in finding food that tastes good and makes you a better athlete. For me, it gives me a feeling of strength, power, endurance, and a clear mind. It should be food that makes you feel light on your feet and ready to take on the world!
In the softball world, just like traveling, eating right can be hard! Sometimes, we are at the field from 8am-7pm. Our days can be really long at times, and often the only food options we have is a snack bar. Usually snack bar options are pretzels, hot dogs, candy and other food. They will give you some sort of sugar high but then you will crash and be tired, usually around the 4th inning!
As professional athlete, I have tried a variety of different things to figure out what works best for me. Here is what I have found. I need whole foods that aren’t processed. I need a stead stream of energy that will last me through warm ups and prevent 5th inning hunger pangs. I also need something that isn’t so heavy that it takes me seven innings too feel normal. I never want to eat too much before I play, because the last thing I want is for my body to feel heavy. When you feel heavy, it’s tougher for you to get moving and be explosive through a sprint, throw, jump or squat; which is what softball is! At any given moment, we have to jump up for a ball, sprint backwards, sprint forward, dive, squat for ground balls, and create explosive power through our hips! Being able to explode at a moment’s notice, folks, is the key to softball success.
If you aren’t eating right, you aren’t going to get the explosive power that you need. So, it is important for you to know what you are eating and if it is the fuel that your body needs for success on the field. One product that I have found to be really helpful to me is Perfect Foods Bars. I really like the carob chip and the peanut butter ones. I usually eat one after the team warm up, which is about and hour before the game starts and before my pitching warm up.
For the last couple years, I would eat a sandwich or something like that for a pre-game meal. I would feel full in the first inning but be hungry by the 5th inning. Does this sound familiar? By the time the game was over, I would become a scavenger. This past year I started to replace my pre-game sandwich with Perfect Foods Bars. They have prevented the initial heavy feeling at the beginning of the game and I am been able to maintain my energy levels throughout the game without any peaks and valleys. HOLLLAAAA!!!
Monica Abbott #14
P.S. - Y’all, sales are up in the store right now for the Holidays and not too be cliché, but they will not last forever!