Proper nutrition for peak performance
- The pre-game meal serves two primary purposes. One is to keep the athlete from feeling hungry, and the other it to maintain levels of blood glucose and muscle and live glycogen.
- Athletes who skip meals during training or prior to competition put themselves at a disadvantage during exercise. They should be strongly discouraged from skipping meals because they are depriving themselves of much needed energy for muscle activity.
- Food high in fat and protein, such as steaks hamburgers, hot dogs, and eggs, or fatty fried foods such as French Fries, donuts and potato chips, take longer to digest and may cause indigestion, nausea, and possible vomiting
Some suggestions on what to eat before competition
- 1 hour before competition: Fruit and vegetable juices, fresh fruit, or one serving of high carbohydrate beverage (Gatorade etc.)
- 2 or 3 hours before competition: Fruit and vegetable juices, breads, bagels, low fat yogurt, raisins, or two servings of a high carbohydrate beverage.
- 3 or 4 hours before competition: Fruit and vegetable juices, fresh fruit and vegetables, breads, bagels, baked potatoes, cereal with low fat milk, low fat yogurt, sandwiches with a small amount of peanut butter, lean meat or low fat cheese, or two servings of a high carbohydrate beverage.
The My Pyramid Food Guide at Choose My Plate provides specific suggestions for daily and weekly food group consumption based on one’s age and activity level. You will also find information about each food group, menu planning, dietary guidelines and more on this interactive website.