As the old saying goes, you get what you put in. And that could be no truer than for athletic nutrition. Thousands or researches have studied food’s effect on athletic performance. And with that research, we have learned numerous things on how food affects the body before, during, and after a game. At SportsGrub we are dedicated to providing meals based off of nutritional research, that is why we have compiled these tips on nutrition.
When To Eat
Meal timing is just as important as meal contents. Every athlete knows the damage of trying to play while hungry or while full. It is recommended that full meals are eaten more than an hour before games, whereas healthy snacks like granola or fruit can be eaten thirty minutes prior to the game. It is important to make sure that meals eaten prior to the game are correctly portioned according to the span of time between eating and playing. This is the best way to avoid hunger fatigue.
Good hydration does not begin during the game or even warm-up drills. Athletes should be drinking water hours prior to physical activity. It is also important to avoid foods with high salt content and beverages including coffee, soda, or energy drinks a few hours before practice or a game.
Focus On Protein
Whether you are in the middle of the season or at training camp prior to the season, it is vital that you get enough protein in your diet. Intense training and exercise require an increased daily intake of protein. Not only is important that you increase the amount of protein that you take in, but that you also make sure to spread out protein consumption throughout your day. Protein should be a part of each meal and snack when you are training.
The Importance of Carbs
One term often thrown around in athletic nutrition is “carb loading”. Carbohydrates are a good source of energy, especially for athletes. It is recommended that carbs are consumed the night before gameday. Good sources of carbs include whole wheat pasta, bread, and potatoes. It is important to consult a dietician to get a recommended amount of carbs before a game.
Manage Sugar Intake
Unnecessary sugar can be extremely unhealthy and hurt an athlete’s performance. Sugary foods and greasy foods take longer to digest which impedes your ability. Even sugars found in sports drinks are not recommended outside of during the game. Sports drinks should always be saved for practice and breaks.
SportsGrub is a food delivery system for teams in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. If your team is interested in sports nutrition and getting delicious meals delivered to your next game contact us through our online form.