Pre-Competition Nutrition

Here are 7 great tips regarding what you should avoid and what you should have for pre-competition meals

This article provided by My Sports Dietitian

By Tavis Piattoly MS, RD, LDN

Which Athlete are You?
The bell just rang and school is out! The meet is 3 hours away and the coach dismissed the team to go get something to eat and be back in an hour.


Athlete #1
Goes to McDonalds, 2 double cheeseburgers, large fries and large coke.

Athlete #2
Two turkey sandwiches, fruit, and a low calorie drink from home.


Athlete #1  or Athlete #2  will experience the following?

  1. Significantly have more energy in the second half of the game?
  2. Still have large amounts of fat in their digestive system during the game?
  3. Be dehydrated and sluggish?
  4. Most likely to get abdominal cramps before, during or after the game?
  5. Recovers quicker the next day from muscle fatigue?
  6. Spent more money?
  7. Planned poorly and has no real sports nutrition goals?


7 Tips for a Great Pre-Game Meal 

  1. Don’t Experiment
    Don’t try new foods on a game day, it might cause unexpected problems.
  2. Avoid Soft Drinks and Candy
    Sugar is your enemy, empty calories that don’t provide long term fuel source.
  3. High Carbohydrates
    Never can go wrong with breads, pasta, rice…pure long lasting energy source.
  4. Timing
    Takes about 3 hours to empty the stomach of quality food.
  5. Fluids
    Plenty of water and sports drinks…stay away from carbonated sugary soft drinks.
  6. Avoid High Fat Intake
    Fat takes longer to digest and lots of water to process.
  7. Limit Protein Intake
    Protein is a weak energy source, great for building tissue but limit the amount prior to game.


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