TrueSport Resources

 Post-Workout Fueling

Post-Workout Fueling

Tips to restore glycogen levels after a workout

After a hard practice, your student athlete is probably feeling exhausted and hungry—and it may be best if they don’t wait until the next meal before refueling!

TrueSport Expert Kristen Ziesmer, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, explains exactly what and when your athlete needs to eat after practice..

Refuel within 30 minutes

This can be tricky for parents of young athletes, since often, you’re picking your student up from practice and heading home to dinner in a couple of hours.

"I remember being at the end of those practices, I could eat a horse because I was so hungry, but I didn't really think about eating a whole lot during the practice,” Ziesmer recalls..

It’s tempting to just wait until dinner, but she adds that eating within 30 minutes is ideal for young athletes because that's when they are "most like sponges," so they're really going to soak up all the nutrients. Remember, it can be a smaller snack and your athlete shouldn’t be skipping dinner as a result of the post-workout meal.

Focus on protein and carbohydrates

"The primary goal of post-workout fueling is to get those amino acids back into your muscles to restore glycogen levels in muscles, which means eating protein and carbohydrates,” Ziesmer explains.

The ratio of protein to carbohydrates depends on what type of sport your athlete is in – endurance or power. If your child is doing more running and aerobic exercise, opt for a four-to-one ratio of carbohydrate to protein. An example of this is roughly 40-45 grams of carbohydrates to 10 grams of protein, so a piece of fruit, two servings of crackers, and two light string cheeses.

But if your athlete is in a more explosive sport that has sprinting or lifting, aim for a three-to-one ratio. An example of this is about 30 grams of carbohydrates to 10 grams of protein, or two servings of crackers and two light string cheeses.

Keep easy options on hand

Have a water bottle ready and waiting post-practice (or make sure your athlete has one in their gym bag). Bear in mind, your child doesn’t need a protein shake packed with supplements, and in fact, supplements are not advised for young athletes, even for pre-workout fueling.

Ziesmer is an advocate for whole-food snacks whenever possible. Here are a few of her easy favorites:

• 16 ounces of chocolate milk and a medium banana
• Half of a turkey sandwich with a handful of pretzels
• Muffin – any kind, with 16 ounces of low-fat milk
• 1-2 granola bars with either a sports drink or watered-down juice
• Cooked oatmeal with low-fat milk, raisins, chopped nuts, and maple syrup

She adds that most of these options are easily available, even from convenience stores or gas stations, which means there’s no reason your athlete can’t be properly fueled post-practice.

Mix up carbohydrate sources

Ziesmer remembers seeing a father give his daughter a half-gallon of orange juice post-practice and shudders at the thought. “We have multiple sugar receptors, so just eating fruit as your carbohydrate post-workout is not ideal,” she explains. “That’s because fruit is a quick digesting carbohydrate, but you need some slow absorbing carbohydrates as well. Additionally, having too much fruit can really upset an athlete's stomach. Aim for combinations, like a grain with a fruit, for example."

Don’t skip dinner

Ziesmer notes that for four hours after practice, your young athlete should be refueling slowly and steadily, meaning that post-workout snack is only the beginning. “They really need to be eating about 1 to 1.2 grams per kilogram per hour of carbohydrate to refuel after a hard practice,” she explains. “That can be the after-practice snack and then dinner and then even a bedtime snack.”

For instance, your athlete could have chocolate milk post-practice for carbohydrates and protein, followed by a dinner of chicken, brown rice, and sautéed vegetables. They can finish off the night with a small bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit and peanut butter for a combination of carbohydrate sources, proteins, and a small amount of healthy fats.

Your athletes know what foods and meals make them feel good as they recover from practice or competition, so encourage them to remain accountable for their sports nutrition.

Ziesmer concludes, “Remember, if you don't eat before exercise, then you're performing that much less well and you're burning even less energy. And then, if you skip that and your post-workout fueling, you often wind up over-eating later, as well as feeling extra fatigued and more susceptible to injuries and illness.”

TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport. TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.

 Pre-Workout Fueling

Pre-Workout Fueling

Improve performance by eating at the right time before a workout

Young student-athletes are often faced with a tough challenge when rushing to practice after school. How do you fuel for a practice or workout with limited time and when lunch is often hours before the final bell rings?

TrueSport Expert Kristen Ziesmer, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, shares what parents and coaches need to know about pre-workout fueling for middle and high school athletes.

Understand youth energy needs

“Kids' energy needs are a double-edged sword,” says Ziesmer. “Because of their metabolism and everything going on in their bodies as they develop, their energy needs are going to be higher per kilogram of body weight as opposed to an adult. But because they weigh less, their caloric needs will still often be less than an adult.”

Any time you’re trying to calculate caloric needs, especially when it comes to pre-workout carbohydrate needs, the amount per kilogram of body weight that they need is higher than an adult would need. You can use this handy table to get a sense of your child’s needs based on age and sex, but it will vary slightly based on weight. Ziesmer also notes that you might be shocked by how much your athlete needs. Between the energy cost of the workout and the daily requirements for a growing body, they really are burning through those calories.

Hydration matters

Hydration needs are also a bit higher, due to the fact that children have more surface area on their body proportionate to their weight, so they dehydrate faster than adults do. Ziesmer notes that kids, and even teens, are not as aware of hunger or thirst cues, especially during play (or practice). Make sure your athlete is always equipped with a water bottle at school and encourage them to sip steadily throughout the day rather than chugging a liter of water just before practice.

Tell your athlete to eat early

It can be tricky with school schedules and rules around eating in class, but your athlete does need to pre-fuel for practice, especially for practices like cross-country running where energy expenditure is high.

If lunch is early in the day – more than three hours ahead of practice, then Ziesmer recommends, “An hour before practice is good for a small snack because that gives your athlete time to digest their food. When eating an hour before, you need roughly one gram of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight. So, if an athlete is 150 pounds, or 68 kilograms, then they need approximately 68 grams of carbs, 5-10g protein. A sample snack would be 8 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice, 1 serving of whole grain crackers, and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or 1 light string cheese.”

Skip protein bars

"I am not opposed to a Clif Bar, for example, because it’s whole foods that are compressed into bar form,” Ziesmer says. “But I definitely advise against bars that are packed with protein and chemicals, like a Quest bar.” In addition to the highly processed nature of bars, a lot of these bars are marketed for sports but are actually protein-based, so they aren’t ideal for eating ahead of practice.

“The problem with protein bars is if an athlete is eating too much protein before practice, then the stomach is really too busy trying to digest that food,” she explains. “A lot of the athlete's blood is now in the intestines trying to digest the food rather than being delivered to working muscles, which is going to sink the performance."

Aim for whole foods

Ziesmer urges parents to provide whole food options whenever possible in order to ensure that your young athlete doesn’t begin to depend on processed snacks. “It is really hard to get a good balance of macronutrients in a bar, and real food is just a better choice due to digestibility and nutrient content” she adds. Some options that should be easy for your athlete to eat between classes include:

• Half a bagel with nut butter
• Pita with hummus
• Yogurt with fruit and granola
• Half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
• Half of a turkey sandwich
• Handful of pretzels with some watered-down fruit juice

Encourage your athlete to eat the right foods at the right time before a workout for improved performance and decreased likelihood of fatigue and injury.

TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport. TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.

 How to Persevere as a Team

How to Persevere as a Team

Coaching athletes to push through challenges

While individual athletes might understand how to persevere and show grit while pursuing their goals, it can be tough for a coach to bring those lessons to a whole team since each player might have different goals, respond to different motivators, and be interested in sport for different reasons. But sports are the perfect chance to teach team-based grit, which can help athletes in sport and in their future careers.

Grit – like perseverance – has been defined as the tendency to “sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals.”

Research has shown that the sense of belonging that comes from being on a sports team, along with a common goal, helps children understand the importance of ‘respecting the rules and honoring responsibilities.’ Angela Duckworth, the researcher who coined the term ‘grit’ in 2007, has found that focusing on a goal as a team can improve focus in all aspects of life.

But how does a coach bring grit to the entire team?

Develop a Team Mission Statement
At the beginning of the season, gather the team and create a mission statement for the season. What does grit mean for the team? What do the players want to work on from a skills acquisition standpoint? What will success look like? What does it mean to have perseverance during practice or competition? Remember, young athletes take their cues from you, so it’s your responsibility to help them understand that ‘grit’ doesn’t simply mean ‘winning’ or ‘never giving up.’

Help them define the team’s values around grit but let them do the actual phrasing and writing. Giving your athletes ownership of this statement will help unify the team around their common mission.

Make Sure It’s Not All About Game Day
If the only emphasis on your team is ‘winning the game’ or ‘game day strategy,' it can be hard to push through rough patches and seasons that don’t go according to plan. As you’re talking about perseverance and dedication, make sure that language is used during practice, as well as on game day.

Setting a specific goal for each athlete to achieve at practice (a certain number of repetitions of a drill, for instance) and having the athletes work together to ensure that everyone meets that goal can be one way to make sure the players are persevering together all the time, not just on game day.

Don’t Put Your Athletes Against Each Other
It’s hard to push through tough times as a team when each athlete is more focused on outshining his or her teammates than performing well as a unit. For young athletes, research has shown that comparison to others, rather than an emphasis on personal development, makes sports less enjoyable. Challenge the athletes in practice, but don’t make them feel as though they’re being ‘graded’ against each other.

But Let Them Be Competitive
Yes – even with each other at practice. While you don’t want to create a culture of comparison, you do want to allow teammates to feel competitive. Challenging each other to be better and persevering through the inevitable failure will help them at their next game…and for the rest of their lives.

Deborah Gilboa, a board-certified family physician and respected youth development and resilience expert, says, “Competition can be really great for kids. If you can teach them to treat each other respectfully, they can compete all they like.”:

“Competition teaches,” explains Gilboa. “The winner learns how to win without over-celebrating and the loser learns how to lose without too much fuss. Kids monitor each other really well. They give honest, if harsh, criticism of poor behavior. They do not hesitate to call each other on cheating, bragging, whining. You do not need to intervene as they teach other these lessons unless the punishment is genuinely too harsh.”

Change Your View Around Winning
A recent study showcased that both girls and boys want to ‘try their best’ and ‘work hard’ during practice and in competition – and that’s what makes sports fun for them. That’s right: Grit is actually fun! This research dispels the traditional myth that boys are focused on winning while girls are focused on friendship. Incidentally, winning only ranked 40th in importance in this new study.

Bearing that in mind, focus less on creating goals around winning and turn your focus to team-wide, process-oriented goals that the team can strive for together. Since process goals focus on personal development instead of the scoreboard, it’s easier to instill a sense of grit and perseverance in the players, regardless of how the team is comparatively doing, because players can still meet goals and see progress.

Keep in mind that introducing lessons of grit and perseverance during your team’s practice will help your athletes look at challenges and obstacles as opportunities rather than risks.

TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport. TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.

 5 Things to Avoid When Cultivating Grit

5 Things to Avoid When Cultivating Grit

Common mistakes when trying to instill grit in athletes

Raising athletes to be resilient and persistent in the face of struggles or challenges is an important role for every parent, but it can be hard to know where to draw the line when helping athletes develop ‘grit.’ An athlete with grit, as explained by Angela Duckworth, the scientist who coined the term, is able to “sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals.”

Here are five common mistakes that parents make when trying to instill that spirit in athletes.

Avoid Cultivating a Winner-Only Mindset

It’s easy to praise hard work and ‘grit’ when it’s leading to successful games or competitions. Unfortunately, this means that determination and grit often end up feeling synonymous with ‘winning’ and ‘being a winner’ for young athletes.

It’s your responsibility as a parent to help them understand that it’s possible – and perhaps more important – to have grit when things aren’t going their way.

A board-certified family physician and respected youth development and resilience expert, Deborah Gilboa, MD, explains on her website, “The most important lessons are learned in adversity, so we have to remind ourselves not to shield young people, but to enable and encourage their problem-solving and self-confidence.”

At the end of the day, emphasizing an athlete’s determination during hard times is more important to their long-term development than praising it when the athlete is finding success. .

Avoid Offering Extrinsic Motivation

Offering a reward like a pizza party for winning seems like an easy motivational tactic, but it can backfire. Even athletes who are initially intrinsically motivated can become focused on the material rewards rather than performance and grit for the sheer love of the sport.

Gilboa agrees and shares, “The social science research on behavior change shows that rewards systems (usually called Token Economies in the literature) are effective for only short periods. Over time, the motivation decreases even if the rewards don’t change.”

“The biggest problem is this is not great preparation for the world ahead of our children,” Gilboa states on her website. “When we want our kids to learn good habits, we need to expect it of them and link the mastery of a task to a new privilege. Kids are desperate to be acknowledged as older or more mature and this is a great motivator.”

Avoid Pushing Grit Through Injury and Illness

Dedication is a great quality, but a parent can accidentally pressure an athlete to push through illness or even injury in the name of ‘giving it your all.’ Pay close attention to athletes for signs of injuries or illness, especially in athletes you know already display a lot of persistence without prompting. There’s a line between persisting through a rough patch and pushing so hard that an athlete ends up injured and sitting out for the season…or even longer.

Gilboa reassures parents that even without risking further injury to play, the athlete “can learn resilience – by overcoming the adversity of injury. To do that, he needs you to see that he is facing something that is difficult for him. You don’t have to understand why it’s difficult or agree that it is. You do have to help him see the steps to recovery and praise him when he chooses to follow those steps.”

Avoid Promoting a Fixed Mindset

Telling your athlete that they are ‘naturally talented’ or ‘the team all-star without even practicing’ is merely enabling a fixed mindset.

“Children who wither when confronted with challenges view their abilities as fixed – once they fall short, it’s very hard for them to rebound. On the other hand, kids who develop a “growth” mindset believe they can improve (in ability and intelligence) over time and with practice. They view new challenges as fun and exciting,” explains Gilboa.

Avoid Using Nouns Instead of Verbs

A recent study showed that children persist better with difficult tasks when they don’t have to figure out what it means to ‘be’ something. More specifically, "using verbs to talk to children about behavior – such as 'you can help’ – can lead to more determination following setbacks than using nouns to talk about identities, for instance, 'you can be a helper,’” explains the study’s author.

For your athlete, that may mean asking them to “congratulate each teammate post-game," versus telling them to “be a good teammate.” This also relates to talking about how a game went: The players aren’t ‘losers,’ they ‘lost a game.’

Remember that helping your athlete see how hard work and determination payoff is critical to their current and future goals.

TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport. TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.


 7 Easy Vegetarian Meals for Your Athlete

7 Easy Vegetarian Meals for Your Athlete

Vegetarian options for your athlete

The vegetarian diet is growing in popularity in the youth sports community, inspired in part by the many elite and professional athletes making the leap to plant-based nutrition to maximize their athletic performance and recovery time.

Some vegetarians rely too heavily on processed foods, which can be high in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium. Moreover, they may not eat enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and calcium-rich foods, thus missing out on necessary nutrients. TrueSport expert Kristen Ziesmer, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, adds that "vegetarians need to focus on getting common nutrients like iron, zinc, vitamin D, and B12 when it comes to meal planning, as it’s more of a challenge for young vegetarian athletes to reach their basic nutrient needs."

As a non-vegetarian parent, preparing vegetarian meals for your athlete may be challenging, but here are seven quick and easy meals that you can make for your athlete that are also packed with the nutrients they need to help them reach their sport performance goals.

Breakfast Options

Breakfast is extremely important because it jumpstarts your metabolism and provides energy for the day. Here are a few options to help your vegetarian athlete get their day started on the right note.

1. Breakfast Tacos (serving size 4 tacos)

In addition to the ease of preparation of this recipe, it’s also one that you can adapt to your athlete’s preferences, so don’t be afraid to add, remove, or alter the ingredients.

• 4 small flour or corn tortillas
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tablespoon sour cream (or milk), plus more for serving if desired
• Two dashes of hot sauce, such as Cholula, plus more for serving if desired
• ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
• 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
• 2 cups thinly sliced vegetables
• ¼ teaspoon chili powder
• ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
• ¼ cup shredded or crumbled cheese, optional (cheddar, Cotija, feta, goat, even mozzarella)
• ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
• Suggested garnishes (choose a few): chopped fresh cilantro, hot sauce, salsa, or Pico de Gallo, strips of avocado or guacamole, diced tomato or sliced cherry tomatoes, sour cream

1. Warm the tortillas in a large skillet over medium heat in batches, flipping to warm each side.
2. Whisk to combine eggs, until pure yellow, and add sour cream or milk, hot sauce, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt.
3. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the vegetables, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and the chili powder and cumin. Stir to combine, and cook, stirring occasionally. Once cooked, transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
4. Return the skillet to the stove over medium-low heat and melt the remaining ½ tablespoon butter. Pour in the egg mixture. Use a spatula to gently stir and push the eggs around the skillet until the eggs are clumpy but still slightly wet, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the cheese (if using) and green onion, and gently stir to combine.
6. Assemble your tacos by spooning scrambled eggs down the length of a tortilla, topping with some cooked veggies, and your garnishes of choice.

2. Power Porridge

If your athlete prefers sweet over savory breakfasts, make this power porridge their go-to meal.

• ½ cup oats (steel-cut for more fiber)
• 2 tablespoons peanut butter
• 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
• 10 ounces low-fat milk (if your athlete is vegan, use oat milk as an alternative)

1. Measure the oats in a glass and then pour them in a pot. Pour double that amount of water in the pot and then start heating it.
2. Stir frequently, until you reach the consistency of porridge you prefer.
3. Pour in the peanut butter and coconut flakes and then mix it all together.
4. Fill bowl with the oat milk.

3. Avocado Toast

Another breakfast favorite that your athlete can make their own by adding a variety of toppings. Be sure to serve this with a protein source to make it a complete, balanced meal. Examples include: milk, yogurt, egg, cottage cheese.

• 1 slice of bread
• ½ ripe avocado
• Pinch of salt
• Optional: any of the extra toppings (garlic, radish, green onion, arugula, spinach, tomato, egg)

1. Toast your slice of bread until golden and firm.
2. Remove the pit from your avocado. Use a big spoon to scoop out the flesh. Put it in a bowl and mash it up with a fork until it’s as smooth as you like it. Mix in a pinch of salt (about ⅛ teaspoon) and add more to taste, if desired.
3. Spread avocado on top of your toast. Enjoy as-is or top with any extras.


4. Ultimate Vegan Protein Burrito (serving size 4)

With 22 grams of protein, this is a protein-packed meal that will help your athlete recover from a big day of training or competition.

• Pico de Gallo salsa
• Guacamole
• 4 large corn or flour tortillas

For Quinoa:
• ¾ cup white quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
• 1 ½ cups water
• ¼ teaspoon sea salt
• 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
• ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 3 tablespoons lime juice
• 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
• ¼ - ½ teaspoon sea salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For Kale:
• 3 cups destemmed and chopped kale
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• ½ tablespoon olive oil
• Sea salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions For Quinoa:
1. Add the quinoa and water to a small pot with ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-14 minutes or until quinoa is tender and translucent. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Add the black beans, chopped cilantro, lime juice, hemp seeds, sea salt, and black pepper to the quinoa and stir. Set aside.

For Kale:
1. Add the chopped kale, lime juice, olive oil, and sea salt to a bowl and massage the kale for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

Burrito Assembly: Lay one tortilla flat on a clean work surface. Fill the tortilla with the quinoa mixture, Pico de Gallo, guacamole, and kale. Begin rolling the burrito away from you, being sure to tuck the sides in as you go. Slice in half and serve immediately. Repeat.

5.Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

• 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium-large sweet potato peeled and diced
• 1 large red onion diced
• 4 cloves garlic minced
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
• ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 3 ½ cups vegetable stock
• 1 15-ounce cans black beans rinsed
• 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
• ½ cup dried quinoa
• 4 teaspoons lime juice
• If desired: avocado cilantro, crema, cheese

1. Heat a large heavy bottom pot with the oil over medium high heat.
2. Add the sweet potato and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft.
3. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle, cumin and salt and stir to combine.
4. Add the stock, tomatoes, black beans and quinoa and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir everything to combine.
5. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
6. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the quinoa is fully cooked and the sweet potatoes are soft, and the entire mixture is slightly thick like a chili.
7. Add the lime juice and remove the pot from the heat. Season with salt as needed.
8. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, crema or cheese before serving.

6. Loaded Sweet Potato

• 4 medium sweet potatoes
• 2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
• 1 cup salsa
• ½ chopped fresh cilantro
• Optional: ¼ cup mashed avocado or dry-roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1. Wash the sweet potatoes. Pierce each potato 4 to 5 times with a fork and bake in the oven or microwave.
2. Oven: Preheat the oven to 400 ˚F. Place the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Bake 45-75 minutes, or until tender.
3. Microwave: Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe dish with ½ cup water. Cover loosely with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the potatoes over. Microwave another 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
4. Once cooked, split the potatoes and top each potato with black beans, salsa, cilantro, and mashed avocado or pepitas, if using.
5. Note: Other tasting toppings include corn (fresh or thawed from frozen), chopped tomatoes, and sliced green onions.

7. Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (serving size 4)

• 1 cup quinoa or rice (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
• 2 scant cups vegetable stock (sub water, but it will be less flavorful)
• 4 large red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (halved, seeds removed)
• ½ cup salsa (plus more for serving)
• 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
• 2 teaspoons cumin powder
• 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
• 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
• 1 15-ounce can black beans (drained / if unsalted, add ¼ teaspoon sea salt per can)
• 1 cup whole kernel corn (drained)

1. Add quinoa and vegetable stock to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy – about 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 375˚F and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish or rimmed baking sheet.
3. Brush halved peppers with a neutral, high heat oil, such as avocado oil or refined coconut oil.
4. Add cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients – salsa through corn. Mix to thoroughly combine then taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, adding salt, pepper, or more spices as desired.
5. Generously stuff halved peppers with quinoa mixture until all peppers are full, then cover the dish with foil.
6. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Then remove foil, increase heat to 400˚F, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until peppers are soft and slightly golden brown. For softer peppers, bake 5-10 minutes more.

Preparing a filling vegetarian meal for your athlete doesn’t have to be daunting. Try these recipes to prioritize your athlete’s overall health, growth, and development while supporting their choice to be vegetarian.

TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport. TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.