Here are a few travel team nutrition pointers for sports parents, coaches and managers:
• Tell all players to bring a supply of emergency food and fluids, incorporating an extra large water bottle loaded with water (remember, though, no fluids permitted when going through airport security).
• For airline travel, players should take one or two empty water bottles in their carry-on bag which should then be filled after they have passed through airport security (remember: security will confiscate any liquids!). Consuming beverages containing caffeine increases the risk of dehydration because of the diuretic nature of such beverages.
• If the team will be eating as a group, look out for restaurants that offer a buffet-style meal, so each one player can choose the foods she wants in the amounts she wants.
• Search for restaurants immediately after arriving to your destination. Ask the manager if the kitchen can prepare to feed a huge group (so you don’t have to wait forever for service, call ahead) and if they can support your group’s sports food needs.
• Request pitchers of water to be placed on each table.
• Pinpoint the local supermarket where a volunteer can find snacks for the team. Ask for volunteers to organize team meals or snacks at game sites, if necessary.
• Offer players fresh fruit, yogurt, granola bars, and juice boxes to eat in their hotel rooms so they won’t be persuaded to buy junk food from the vending machine.
• Remind players to not only keep a plastic zip lock bag of non-perishable snacks in their gear bag at all times, but to eat them!