The Ultimate Pre-Game Meals for Athletes to Win
Ah! The Pre-Game. Not the tailgating fun time party before your college football game. We are talking about the actual pre-game. Especially pre-game meals for athletes. Nutrition plays a large part in your lifestyle. All facets of your body are fueled by what you consume. You can even eat to prepare yourself for a specific event, or competition. If you are young or old, we’ve got the sports nutrition know-how for you.
Wondering what to eat before practice or competition? There are some things you need to know before you chow down. The body uses food you consume as fuel, this fuel especially for athletes can greatly aid or hamper performance.
How Eating Affects Performance
Variety is the spice of life. The choice picks for sports nutrition largely comes down to your macronutrients: macros. The macros are your protein, carbs and fats. For the regular gym enthusiast your breakdown of these is usually 40% carb, 40% protein and 20% healthy fats. Nutrition for young athletes is strict, and requires a lot of dedication, but as a rule of thumb they use 1 gm of protein for every pound of body weight to maintain and grow lean muscle tissue. But that is part of their daily routine. Eating right.
Athletes can change the ratio of their macros (even the formulation of some macros) to enhance their singular performance come game day. Let us explain, an athlete eats right to be in peak physical condition. But depending on their sport or competition they may up their carb intake or lower it. In some cases like competitive body building, they can even have pre-competition meal phases. Here the athlete restricts calories significantly while consuming lots of water – about 10 gallons. Three days before they step on stage they restrict their water as well give their muscles a drier, more vascular and ripped look. Keep in mind though the health of all athletes who perform are regulated by professionals.
What is a Competition Pre-Meal
Designed specifically for performance a competition pre-meal aims to provide the body with the necessary nutrients and liquids that enable the athlete to perform at maximum efficacy (for the duration of the competition).
What to Eat Before Completion
The trick is to eat what you normally enjoy eating. Changing your diet radically can cause digestive problems, bloating and gas. So yeah stick to what you like. What you can do however is up your carb intake. Eat about 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight for a large meal. This will take around three to four hours to digest. If your meal is high in protein and fat allow about 5 to 6 hours to digest. You’ll often see endurance athletes carb loading (same premise).
What Should I Drink for a Pre-Competition Meal?
If you’re looking for a quick surge of energy and don’t have the time to allow for a full 5-6 hours of digestive goodness, you may want to drink. Gulp 1 cup (not more) of your favorite juice. We recombined apple, pineapple, grapefruit and good old OJ. This takes about 1 hour to digest.
Now you’re ready. It’s time. Stop talking about it, be about it. Get after it.