It is essential to performance to provide your body with the proper fuel it needs during competition. A well-balanced meal full of these fuels (carbohydrates and protein) will help you perform at your best. Here are some tips that can help you prepare.
1. Eat breakfast with in 15-30 min of awakening.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The word broken down is BREAK-FAST. Fast, refers to not consuming food or liquid for a pro-longed period of time. Without food, there is no fuel.
2. Try to eat every 2-4 hours.
- Three average sized meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Two-three snacks throughout the day
3. Eat foods high in fiber.
- This will help slow down digestion and provide a better source of fuel for high intensity training.
- High Fiber Cereals (Raisin bran, Kashi Go Lean)
- Whole grain oatmeal / granola (add cinnamon, peanut butter, fruit, etc.)
- Whole wheat toast or bagel
- Green vegetables
- Whole wheat pastas or brown rice
- Beans (black, pinto, garbanzo)
4. Consume protein throughout the day
- Dairy products (yogurts, eggs, cottage cheese, cheeses)
- Lean meats (fish, chicken, streak, turkey, ground beef)
5. Avoid sugary foods
- Energy drinks
- Sugary cereals
6. Avoid high fat foods
- Fried foods
- High fat dairy products (whole milk, creams, fatty cheeses)
- High fat meats (pork, ground beef)
- Salad dressings (non-fat free)
7. Prepare food to put in your bag
- Trail mix (pre-made or make your own)
- Sun flower seeds (shell less)
- Unsweetened dried fruits
- Whole grain cereals
8. Drink plenty of fluids.
- Water (best choice)
- Electrolyte filled drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc…)
9. Don’t over-eat.
- To make up for lost meals
- Before competition (can cause sluggish feeling)
10. Pre-game meal should consist of a quality carbohydrate and protein choice 3-4 hours before competition.
- Whole grain pasta (2-3 servings), lean meat (1-2 servings), 1-2 servings vegetables, 16-24oz’s of fluids
Listed below are meals that are well-balanced source of carbohydrates and protein.
- 1-2 cups whole grain pasta with red sauce, 6-10oz grilled or baked chicken breast, ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, 1 cup green vegetable (asparagus, broccoli, green beans), 16oz water
- 1-2 cups brown rice, 6-10oz top sirloin steak, 1 cup green vegetables, 16oz water
- 1-2 sweet potato’s with cinnamon and butter, 6-10oz chicken or steak, 1 cup green vegetables, 16oz water
- 2-4 eggs, 1-2 cups whole oatmeal with cinnamon and peanut butter, 6-10oz yogurt, 16oz water
- 1-2 cups granola, 6-10oz yogurt, 1-2 servings fruit, 1-2 eggs, 16oz water
- 1 whole grain bagel with 2-3tbs peanut butter, 2-3 eggs, 1-2 cups of potatoes (hash browns, home fries, etc.), 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, 16oz water
- 1-2 cups cottage cheese, 2 whole wheat pieces of toast with 1-2 tbs peanut butter, 1-2 cups high fiber cereal (raisin bran, Kashi), 16oz water
All these foods are only recommendations. They can be used for individuals or team meals. The most important part is a good quality source of carbohydrates to provide fuel during sports performance.
Recommended by:Ryan Gearheart M.S., CSCS, SCCC, Pn1, NASE Assistant Strength Coach Kent State University