Eating right on gameday is an athlete’s secret weapon for maximum performance. An athlete requires many key nutrients to meet the energy demands of their sport and failing to fuel up properly on game day can prevent you from burning out late in the game. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning your day before gametime:
1. Start with Breakfast – We know we say it a lot, but it really is that important. Without a solid breakfast to start your day, you’ll be putting yourself in a massive energy deficit that, if you try to fill too close to gametime, will leave you feeling sluggish. Make sure to get some high quality protein such as eggs, good carbs like oatmeal, and some fruit to top it off. Stay away from anything fried in a bunch of oil as too many fats will slow down digestion and contribute to that tired and sluggish feeling.
2. Don’t skip Lunch – As most kids have games after school, lunch is just as important as breakfast to stock up on quality carbohydrates and protein. If you have no choice but to choose what they offer at school, do your best with your carb choice but make sure you get a protein source as well as some fruit and milk.
3. Timing is everything– It takes your body about 2-3 hours to digest larger meals such as breakfast and lunch, so keep that in mind. If you find yourself hungry as you get close to the game, small snacks like beef jerky, granola, or any pieces of fruit can be digested a little quicker and are great choices within 30-60 minutes of gametime
4. Hydrate– Like we always say, Always Hydrate. You sweat out massive amounts of water and electrolytes in games so be sure to stay fully hydrated with water throughout the day and during gametime use Gatorade to help replenish the lost electrolytes.