5 Essential Nutrition Tips for Gymnasts - Training HAUS

5 Essential Nutrition Tips for Gymnasts

Nutrition and hydration are crucial components for gymnasts of all levels, and with Minneapolis hosting the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June, there is no better time to set yourself apart by preparing and executing your nutrition plan. Let’s start with these five fueling tips:

1. Balance Practice Day Fueling

With long practices and grueling training regimens, it is important to make sure gymnasts are fueling on a schedule to avoid fatigue and burnout. A great rule of thumb is to eat meals 3-4 hours before the start of practice, then focusing on carb-based foods closer to practice time to allow for full digestion. Pretzels, cheesy crackers, fruit snacks, or apple sauce consumed 30 minutes before training provides quick, easy nutrients and can also serve as intermittent practice fuel to boost energy levels, focus, and results.

2. High Levels of Hydration 

Hydration helps lubricate joints for ease of quick movements, regulates body temperature, and helps the brain stay alert while doing challenging skills. Sweating out more than 2% of body weight during a training session greatly increases risk of injury, so staying hydrated is important for many reasons. In general, athletes should aim to drink at least half their body weight (in ounces) every day. Gymnasts can try different hydration products with added electrolytes and carbohydrates to easily fuel and hydrate during sessions longer than an hour.

3. Vault into Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps with bone health, immune support, and creating hormones in the body. We receive vitamin D from the sun, but for gymnasts who train indoors year-round, it can be difficult to get the daily dose needed. Athletes can establish a base of vitamin D through their diet by consuming foods like fish, eggs, fortified dairy sources, and even mushrooms sprinkled in salads or pasta sauces. It can be helpful to consult a dietitian to understand where current vitamin D levels fall and choose a third-party tested supplement, if needed.

4. Set the Bar for Injury Prevention

Gymnastics is a high-impact sport, but there are many nutrients that gymnasts can focus on to prevent soft tissue and bone injuries. Vitamin C, often found in citrus fruits, combined with gelatin, is a great trick to boost joint health. Dark leafy greens and other vibrant fruits and veggies are rich in antioxidants to help decrease soreness. Leucine, an amino acid, promotes muscle growth following surgeries to stimulate muscle growth and prevent muscle breakdown and is found in meats, cheese, eggs, seeds, tofu, and beans.

5. Find Your Rhythm for Meet Day

Every athlete is different, so using these tips comes with practice and figuring out what works best for you. Gymnasts should try new fueling and hydration strategies during practices to emulate a meet day. Once competition season starts, it’s important to avoid anything new to lower the risk of digestive problems or unexpected issues. Try out timing strategies, hydration products you like, and trusted snack sources. Having confidence in what works for you builds a foundation for high-level performance all year long.


Our HAUS Dietitians are here to help you set up your nutrition plan. When you schedule an appointment, you’ll receive customized sports nutrition advice to optimize performance, minimize lifelong health risks, and enhance recovery from exercise and injury.


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