Professional Baseball Strength & Conditioning


Seven Foundations of a Healthy Diet

  1. Healthy nutrition starts with planning. Mentally or physically map out meals and be sure this food is available.
  2. Eat at regular intervals in the day. No longer than 4 hours without food. 
  3. Choose whole foods vs processed foods for the majority of your diet (90% of the time) (see ideas below)
  4. Balance meals and snacks with carbs, protein, antioxidants and healthy fats (see healthy plate below)
  5. Establish a healthy relationship with food and your body. Eat for health/performance, not boredom, guilt or stress.
  6. Choose liquids with minimal sugar like water, milk/soy/almond beverage, tea. Avoid juice, soda, energy drinks.
  7. Enjoy “treats” in moderation – they taste better this way!

Whole Food Based Meal and Snack Ideas

Best Breakfasts

  • Oatmeal, 1-2 eggs, handful of almonds
  • Shake = 2 cups skim milk/soy/almond, 1 banana, 1 Tbsp. natural PNB
  • Mix – 6oz Greek yogurt + 1/3 cup whole granola + 1-2 Tsp dried cranberries
  • 1-2 slice whole grain toast with natural PNB + 1 cup skim chocolate milk/soy
  • 1-2 cups high pro cereal (e.g. Kashi) + 1 cup skim milk

Best Snacks

  • 6oz Greek style yogurt + small fruit
  • ½ scoop whey + 1.5 cups skim milk/soy
  • 1 cup of vegetable sticks + 2 Tsp hummus
  • ½ cup skim cottage cheese + 1 fruit
  • Natural nutrition bars (look at ingredient. list)

Best Lunch’s / Dinners

  • Chicken breast salad with low-fat dressing + fruit
  • Tuna salad mixed with low-fat ranch salad dressing on wheat pita + 1 cup celery sticks
  • 1-2 cups vegetable soup + turkey sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Tofu, chicken or beef stir fry with veggies, brown rice
  • Salmon, trout or whitefish + couscous + steamed vegetables
  • 1-2 cups of vegetarian, turkey or lean beef chili + 1 cup carrots
  • Lean beef steak + baked potato

Nutrition and Hydration Strategies for Training and Competition

Common Fueling Mistakes Impact on Performance How to Correct

Not eating very much before practice / competition. Usually due to not wanting to feel full and nerves.

·      Reduced energy over training or competition session

·      Only perform at 60-75% of physical and mental potential

·      Increased risk for mistakes and injury

·      See top 5 pre-event and on deck fuels below

·      Aim for easy to digest and low-fat foods with a combination of carbs and protein


Not eating or drinking enough before activity results in low blood sugar and hunger, leading to the possibility of overeating afterwards.

·      Overeating can result in poor weight management

·      Fueling timing is wrong, you need the energy before training. This can impact performance.

·      Have a small amount of sugar and balanced recovery snack to sustain energy and prevent overeating. See on deck fuels below.

Many athletes arrive to training and competition in a dehydrates state usually due to poor planning.

·      Lack of concentration

·      Reduction in skill ability

·      Early fatigue

·      High perceived exertion in training

·      Muscle cramps

·      See hydration tips below.

·      Visit Team USA Sport Nutrition webpage to download a great hydration fact sheet.


Top 5 Pre- and Post-Training / Competition Snacks

  1. ½ – 1 cup rice cereal / oatmeal plus skim or soy milk
  2. Banana or apple plus 1 Tbsp. PNB
  3. 6 oz. Greek yogurt
  4. Fruit plus protein (milk, whey) smoothie
  5. Sports nutrition bar

Top 5 On Deck Fuels

  1. Water plus diluted sports drink
  2. Banana
  3. ¼ cup dried fruit
  4. Applesauce (in squeezable tube)
  5. 1 package sports gels, bites or blocks

Hydration Tips

  • Aim for a baseline of hydration of 8-10 cups per day OUTSIDE of training
  • Water, diluted juice, tea, and milk all count as fluids
  • Listen to your thirst – It’s there to tell you when you are dehydrated
  • Pre-hydrate before training with 6-10 oz. of fluid 1-2 hours before hand
  • Bring a water bottled filled with water or diluted sports drink and place it somewhere visible so you remember to hydrate
  • For longer events in hot and humid environments, you may need to set a schedule for hydration; 3-4 gulps about every 20 minutes
  • Hydrate after training and competition with at least 8-16 oz. of fluids and urine color guide below


Rob Skinner, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS is the Sports Dietitian with Acrobat and Combat Sports at the United State Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For more information from the US Olympic Training Center, go to

About the Author


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.