EATING FOR SPORTS PERFORMANCE
Eating for sports performance requires a bit of planning and clock watching, but can lead to improvements in performance. When done properly, the players will notice they have more energy late in games as well as when they have multiple games with minimal recovery between games.
Most pre-game meals are eaten in the 3-4 hours prior to competition. But realize that the food eaten will have little to do with the energy expended in the game. That comes from what was eaten in the 2-3 days prior to the game.
Remember that the more calories (i.e. fat and protein) in a meal, the slower the food leaves the stomach.
Food in general, and carbohydrates in particular, should be avoided in the last hour before play.
Immediately prior to competition (in the minutes before kickoff), carbohydrates can be taken in. Carbohydrate supplement drinks work great. "Clear" candies (jelly beans, "Gummy" candy, Skittles etc. you get the idea) are another choice.
Carbohydrate supplement drinks given before the game and at halftime have been shown to increase running volume and intensity in the second half in soccer players. This is important to consider because goals become more frequent later in the game as players get tired.
If you have more energy than your opponents, you are more likely to have an advantage over the opposition and hopefully, score more later in the game.
THE DAILY NUTRITION PLAN
The foods that you eat before physical activity should contain an energy intake that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, adequate in protein and maintains your desirable body weight. The pre-game meal should supply a maximum amount of energy to the muscles and it should also keep hunger away. This can be done by eating meals consisting of complex carbohydrates and low amounts of fats and proteins. Fats and proteins digest slowly and can cause indigestion, nausea, or vomiting. Your meals should be eaten 3-4 hours before your activity so you can digest your meal, but a light snack 1-3 hours before the game is a good idea because it keeps you from having an empty stomach. Avoid eating last minute sweets because they make your blood sugars peak quickly and then rapidly fall to a lower level.
8 oz Orange Juice
1 - 2 Cups Hot or cold Breakfast
1 cup Skim Milk
2 Slices of Whole wheat multigrain bread / toast
2 Tb sp Jam / jelly / honey
PRE - GAME MEAL : ( 3 - 4 Hours Before Game )
2 - 3 cups Cooked rice, pasta, potatoes, 2 slices or 8'' roll
2 - 3 oz Chicken, turkey, fish, or lean meat
1 large Garden salad or 1-2 cups cooked veggies
2 Tb sp italian dressing (or oil / vinegar type)
1 cup Low fat milk,applesauce or fruit
1 cup Mixed fruit
PRE - GAME SNACK ( 1 1/2 H. Before Game )
1 cup Low fat milk or fruit yogurt
1 Bagel or slices bread / toast or 1 cup Munch
1 Granola bar
1 Honey / jam / jelly (for toast or bagel)
POST GAME MEAL
4 - 5 oz Baked chicken breast, grilled fish or lean meat
1 large Baked potato or 2 cups of cooked pasta or rice
1 cup Steamed vegetables
1 Apple, orange, banana or mixed fruit cup
1 cup Milk