The sun’s shining and the barbecues fired up- but what can I eat that isn’t a greasy burger or a fatty sausage? Plenty is the answer! BBQ’s can be the perfect meal for fuelling young athletes. Here’s a few top tips to help get the most out your al fresco dining this summer.
Lesson 1 - Lean Meat
Choose the leaner cuts of meat. Steak and skinless chicken are a great choice to throw on the barbecue. They’re high in protein and low in fat and that chargrilled taste is amazing! Try adding a marinade to the meat before cooking for an extra taste kick without the unnecessary calories.
Lesson 2 - Veggies
Kebabs are a great way of sneaking some extra veggies into the meal as well. Add some chunks of lean meat to a skewer with peppers, onions, mushrooms etc and you have yourself a high protein meal filled with those essential vitamins and minerals.
Lesson 3 - DIY Burgers
You don’t have to avoid the burgers all together. Why not opt for making your own rather than buying a processed alternative, which can often be higher in fat than they are in protein. Throw together some lean mince, finely chopped onions and an egg into a bowl, mix it all up and then mould it into burger shapes. Once its grilled to perfection, stick it in a bun, add your salad and you’re ticking all the boxes for refuelling after a tough session: protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Lesson 4 - Chicken or Sausage?
Everyone knows that sausages are full of fat and send your barbecue into wild flames, burning everything in sight. So for a healthier option and to avoid cremating all of the other food, switch up the sausages for some chicken alternatives, which are much lower in fat and salt and have almost double the protein. There’s loads of different types and flavours around now, so you don’t have to go without your barbecue staple.
Lesson 5 - Refuelling Right, Pasta Salad
Don’t forget to get in your 5-a-day. Those veg we snuck onto the kebabs probably won’t be enough to give your body all of the essential vitamins and minerals that it needs. Adding a light and refreshing salad to you plate is a great way to do this. But watch out for the shop bought ones laden in mayonnaise and other high fat and high salt dressings.
Need some to get some carbs in to replenish those glycogen stores? Try adding some cooked pasta or boiled potatoes into the salad and you’ll be fuelled up for that next session. If salad isn’t for you, try grilling some Mediterranean veg on the barbecue. Sliced peppers, courgettes and aubergines work great this way and taste amazing with that grilled meat.
There’s nothing better than a barbecue on a summer’s evening, so get yourself out in the sun and get that grill fired up, and fuel your body!
Guest Author: Emmy Cambell, BSc Nutrition Student.