Everyone knows that nutrition is just as important as an excellent workout regimen when it comes to being physically fit. But despite athletes' overall healthy diets, before games they load up on carbs and energy drinks, thinking that this will help them achieve peak performance on the field.
While eating a giant bowl of spaghetti before a marathon is probably a good idea, if you're taking to the gridiron for a football game or hitting the diamond with your baseball team, you should eat very differently. Here are Anthem Sports' top tips for how athletes can get the most out of their pre-game meals:
♦ Keep it balanced with lean protein and carbs. Protein will provide you with long-lasting energy, while carbs provide you with an immediate burst. Having a meal with both key components before your game will ensure that you're energized throughout.
♦ Keep it bland. Spicy foods are a no-go before matches, as their acidity can cause an upset stomach after too much physical activity.
♦ Keep it light. You want to stay away from heavy, fatty foods before a game. Stick to a turkey sandwich with low-fat cheese, some low-fat yogurt or a small portion of whole wheat pasta with a splash of olive oil.
♦ Keep it two hours out. You don't want to eat immediately before hitting the training equipment at the gym, so why would you want to eat right before a game? Don't push the meal time too far out, though, or you'll find yourself hungry at half-time.
♦ Keep yourself hydrated. Team hydration during games is a no-brainer, but many athletes don't fuel up on water before the game starts, which is crucial for preventing dehydration.
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