What Should Athletes Eat Before The Game?

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The athletic meal plan can make or break their game. 

Many performance dietitians have suggested that proper meal plans for athletes on game days fuel their bodies to train harder and perform better. 

Deciding what to eat before the game for professional athletes can be tricky. One needs to prepare the diet so that it contains the right nutrition to provide energy and fuel for enhanced performance. 

What should athletes eat before a game?

Two of the most important things athletes should eat before a game are Carbohydrates and Water. The foods an athlete eats should depend on the time left before the game as well. 

What are the nutrients that you need for your pre-game meal? And, when should you eat before a game so that you do not get cramps? Let us get into the nutrition the athlete needs for energy and performance during the game. 

However, do not eat everything that is mentioned in the guide. Have a pre-planned diet for the game day to optimize your chances of winning. 

The proper meal plans for athletes on the game day can produce powerful effects like greater endurance, faster speed, and added power and strength. Some of the food items that an athlete should have on the pre-game meal menu are listed below. 

  • Cereals

If you want to be active in the morning on game day, then cereals are the ideal pre-game breakfast. However, you should go for whole wheat cereals and avoid sugary cereals. The best pre-game breakfast would be granola or porridge oats, with soya milk or fat-reduced milk. 

For extra energy, you can also add fruits like a mix of berries or chopped bananas. You can also have fat-free yogurt for a smooth-sailing day.  

  • Bananas

Bananas have a high content of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that enhances your performance on the field as it maintains your body’s water level and eases muscle movements. These help to prevent cramps during the game. The mentioned properties make bananas one of the ideal pre-game foods, so most athletes prefer to eat them before the game. 

Another reason why bananas are preferred is that they release effective and instant energy owing to their sugar and carbohydrate levels. 

  • Baked beans

Baked beans and toast are also a good option for pre-game breakfast. Baked beans is a good food option before the game as it is free of fats and contains the required proteins and fiber required. 

  • Whole grain toast

Everyone prefers toasts. Well, the nutritional value of whole grain toasts makes them the correct option for a pre-game meal. They are super-rich in magnesium, iron, fiber, and valuable Vitamin B. So, entire grain toasts are a good option to eat before any game. 

  • Eggs

Eggs are an amazing source of protein. Therefore, it is very good for any athlete. Also, scrambled eggs or omelets can be eaten with any kind of meat or fish. However, with omelets, you have to eat some form of carbohydrates so that you have the required supply of energy during the match.

  • Fish

Fish contains proteins, which are required for repairing and building muscles during the game. The high content of omega-3 fatty acids contained in oils improves circulation and is known to fight fatigue. Both of the reasons are highly advantageous while playing the game as the body cannot function or provide these by itself.

  • Pasta

Pasta is highly preferred by professional athletes for all the good reasons. They are high in carbohydrates, which maintain cardiovascular levels throughout the game. This helps in the slow release of energy to serve throughout the game. Also, pasta is digested quickly, which makes it good as a pre-game meal.

  • Rice

Long grain rice or brown rice is also a good source of carbohydrates before any game. They are easy to make and go well with any kind of meat or vegetables. But, in the case of both pasta and rice, you have to make sure that you do not overeat. As it will transfer blood to the digestive system rather than the muscles. So, the consumption of carbohydrates should be restricted from 20 grams to 40 grams. 

  • Chicken

Chicken is a great pre-game food item as it contains all the required nutrients. It has a high value of minerals and vitamins and minimal fat. It is also loaded with protein and goes well with carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta and rice. 

  • Yogurt

Making yogurt a part of your diet on match day is a good move. As a dairy product, it is a good source of protein, which is good for both bone strength and muscle strength. Just make sure that the yogurt you are eating has low levels of sugar. Mixing the yogurt with fruits makes it loaded with all kinds of nutrients needed for the game.

  • Water

This might seem obvious to suggest to an athlete, but hydration is essential. If you do not have enough water before the game, there is an increased chance of muscle cramps and fatigue. 

  • Sports drink

Watered-down juices or sports drinks are great for energy and boosting performance. However, they are not required if you have eaten well-appropriate meals before the game. If the drink is too concentrated in sugar, or too much consumption of the drink can cause cramps or upset the stomach. 

Final word

Each athlete is different and can handle food differently. So, you should try the pre-game diet plan to be sure what suits them the best. The big day should not be the first time to try anything new. Also, eating right only on the game day is not ideal for any athlete. They have to continue eating healthy even during their training period. We have tried to solve all your doubts in the article. 

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