[Updated on 1 January 2024] As an athlete you need to be on top condition before each and every game. Your diet is a big part of your preparation so your body is in the best physical conditions before, during and after each game. These are the foods that benefits an athlete for their best performance.
3-4 Days before the game
70% of calories from carbohydrates
Carb loading is a process where high endurance athletes load up with high amounts of carbohydrates and practice about 50% less 3 to 4 days before a match. This enables their body to produce more glycogen. Glycogen is stored energy for the muscles for prolonged performance.
Food with high amounts of carbohydrates
- LOW FAT CEREALS
Drink at least 125 oz. daily for an adult male, and at least 91 oz. daily for adult female.
Follow a daily hydration plan
Drink 8 oz. of water 20-30 minutes before practice.
Drink 4-8 oz. of fluid every 15-20 minutes during practice.
Weigh yourself before and after practice sessions. Replenish with 20-24 oz. of water for every pound lost within 2 hours after practice.
Avoid: Sugar or starch based foods before practice to slow down dehydration.
After every practice
Reload carbohydrates with low GL (Glycemic Index) foods after practice.
After every practice or any intensive activity, the muscles use up glycogen stores. This leaves the muscles being partially broken down and depleted of glycogen stores for energy. Eating the right food with low GL index restores glycemic levels and improves muscle regeneration more efficiently.
Low Glycemic Index Foods
- BROWN RICE
- WHOLE GRAIN BREADS
- FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Also replenish carbs, minerals, and water during and after long exercises with juices and milk.
Since athletes have higher metabolism, they tend to get hungry more often. A healthy snack in between meals with the proper nutrients should also be good source in building a proper nutrition.
READING NUTRITIONAL FACTS ON LABELS
- Amount of serving in relation to nutrition below.
- Amount of calories for each serving. (I.e. 130 calories for each serving)
- Avoid food with high amounts of trans and saturated fats.
- Carb is another source of calories. Favor foods with high fiber content. (ideal amount is 3 to 5g. per serving)
- Amount of protein for each serving.
- Recommended nutritional value per day based on a 2,000 calorie diet. This part tells if you are having enough or too much for each nutrient in a day.
- Additional vitamins and minerals included in each serving.