It is mandatory for an athlete to eat right and stay fit. Eating right is extremely important before the game, as it can have a significant impact on energy levels. A pregame meal ideally refers to the foods eaten by an athlete approximately three hours before the game. A good pregame meal can be one of the vital factors that determine an athlete’s performance. As what they eat affects how they feel and ultimately affects their performance. Making wrong food choices right before the game can have disastrous effects. Hence making the right choices can give you an edge over the competitors. Though there is not a fixed diet chart to be recommended as a pregame meal plan because every game and every individual has their own requirements. It is very important to allow ample time for digestion and limit fats as they take a long time to digest. There are certain things that should be kept in mind while planning a pregame meal. To lean more interesting tips about pregame meal planning, scroll down and continue to read.
Include A Rich Carbohydrate Diet
It is very important for an athlete to eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates since carbohydrate-rich foods are instant sources of energy. The meal before the game should ideally contain a decent amount of carbohydrates, as they provide glucose to the bloodstream at a fast pace. Brown bread, vegetables, and cereal without excess fiber can be included in the pregame diet.
Include Fruits In The Diet
Many nutrition specialists are of the opinion that fruits should be included in the pregame diet as they contain natural sugars which are digested easily and prove to be a good source of instant energy. However, it should always be kept in mind that the fruits included in the pregame diet should be consumed in the fruit form without adding further sugars, for example fruit juice contains additional added sugars. In this case, bananas are the ideal fruits.
Include Proteins In Diet
Proteins are important parts of an athlete’s diet, so, always remember to include protein-rich foods. Generally, foods rich proteins are also high in fat content. Excess of this diet may cause sluggishness and nausea, so remember to have them in small portions. A chicken breast, a bowl of sprouts or a small piece of sirloin steak are probably the best protein supplements before a high-adrenaline game.
Include lots of fluid in your diet as they hydrate your body cells and also aid digestion. They also comparatively provide energy quicker that their solid counterparts. So include glucose drinks, fruit juices without sugar, milkshakes and protein shakes in the pregame diet. However, consume it moderately as it can also lead to frequent urination.
Foods To Avoid
Few foods that you must avoid in the pregame diet are caffeine, sweets and fatty products. Avoid caffeine because it dehydrates the body. Sweets, on the other hand should be avoided because they gradually leave you feeling you exhausted and lethargic. Also avoid deep fried foods, creamy gravies, and dairy products because they can take a toll on the energy and activeness of the athlete.
Don't Experiment With The Meal
Make sure whatever is provided to the athlete as a pregame meal is already consumed by him on prior occasions. In order to avoid any last moment mishaps like food allergies. Remember not to experiment with food. Also, go according to the taste and preferences of the athlete, so that he/she enjoys what they eat.
Timing Is Necessary
Make sure whatever is eaten as the pregame diet, is consumed at least three hours before the meal. Dieticians say that for an afternoon game, the athlete should be given a full meal around mid-morning and a meal mid-afternoon for an evening game. This should be done so that the athlete doesn't feel hungry during the game. If the meal is consumed closer to the game, try to include easily digestible and smaller portions of food.
Avoid Sugary Foods
Foods rich in sugar content can cause rapid energy fluctuations in the blood. They may shoot up energy levels instantly, but they will later cause low blood sugar levels and a drastic drop in energy levels.
A good pregame meal can either make or break an athlete’s performance. Apart from providing nourishment, a good meal enjoyed before the game can also help ease nervousness. The food not only provides energy to the body, but also keeps the mind alert. So, make sure you go through this article once again and familiarize yourself with all the guidelines. Remember, a fit athlete, is a happy and efficient one!