We have all heard the expression “You are what you eat”. Food is important to all of us, we need it to fuel our bodies and help them grow.  In Part Two of our Focus on Food, we talked with Trish Clarke, Cheer Sport Sharks coach and bodybuilding athlete, on specific ways for cheerleaders to make the right food choices for practice and competition days.


Healthy choices = strong athletes! Food choices are CRUCIAL for anyone, but for athletes it is extremely important to be conscious of what you are fueling your body with. As a cheerleader, it is vital to have full energy and strength while practicing or competing to avoid burnout, injuries, and to be able to perform safely and at full potential. Think of your body as a car. If you run out of fuel, you can no longer drive. The body works the same way. You must put clean fuel into your body to get maximum results!

Eating Smart on Practice Days
Make sure to eat before AND after practice. Avoid eating too heavy of a meal beforehand, but enough to keep you full of energy for the entire practice. Carbohydrates are great for energy to get you through the full practice. Fruits, oatmeal, potatoes, vegetables, and even eggs are great to eat before  practice. After training make sure to fill yourself with a protein source to help the muscles recover. Chicken, beef, turkey, fish, eggs, and nuts are all great examples. Be careful with excessive amounts of nuts because there is a very high fat content in them! Fats are great for you, but too much is bad! Always think of fueling or refueling your body! 

Before Practice go to foods:
Bananas (Great for less muscle cramping)
Potatoes (Sweet potatoes are best)

After practice go to foods:
Protein Sources like chicken, beef, turkey or fish

Eating Smart on Competition Days

Competition days are stressful and sometimes it’s difficult to want to eat, but it’s even more important to stay fueled and hydrated on those days! Eat a healthy filling breakfast including protein, carbohydrates, and fats to start the day right! Eggs, toast, fruit, or oatmeal are always a smart go-to breakfast choice! Competition days can be long for athletes so keep small snacks in your cheer bag.  Great snack options that are easy to pack include fruit or a healthy granola/protein bars. Remember that the less packaging the better.  Pack a whole apple instead of a processed apple sauce.   Bars are especially good as they will give a quick boost of energy in between warm up times if possible or when energy starts to dwindle.

Great food options to go to:
Oatmeal (Great breakfast to help keep you full)
Fresh fruits and vegetables (Easy to pack and eat at competition venue)
Healthy granola or protein bars 
Foods to stay away from:
Fried food

Processed foods
High sugar drinks and snacks (pop, chocolate bars)

Trish Clarke coaches tumbling privates and semi privates along with team tumbling for Caribbean’s, Lemons, Cookies, Bahamas, and Sailfins.  Trish has been an athlete on both Team Canada and Great Whites. She loves the bond made with teammates and the competitiveness of the sport and how cheerleading encompasses so many different athletic abilities including endurance, strength, balance, and power.  Now she focuses on coaching and mentoring athletes and is also involved in the sport of bodybuilding. 

“I love to work out and condition when I’m not at practice. I got involved in bodybuilding and fitness after I finished my own cheerleading career. I can honestly say fitness and health is my absolute passion! Watching the body grow into a strong machine fascinates me! You are capable of so much”

About Us

We know you'll love our fun, energetic and addictive culture! Athletes travel far and wide to be a part of our exclusive teams due to our success, renowned coaches and fintastic facilities. With such a variety of teams, we can offer the ultimate athlete experience. We've proven the the possibilities are endless! Come and experience our Shark success for yourself. We are the 'Go To' gym in Ontario because of our winning teams, happy athletes and invested coaches. Dive in for a life changing and exhilarating season!

Learn More

Main Office Address

401 New Dundee Rd.
Kitchener, ON N2P 2N8


Contact Us


Visit the Cheer Sport Sharks gym locations in Kitchener, Ancaster,
Ottawa, Milton, Toronto, New EnglandOrilliaVancouver or Newfoundland