By Amy Jamieson-Petonic, M.Ed., RDN, CSSD, LD
If you are an athlete getting ready for a game, match or competition, eating a well-balanced meal beforehand is an important part of your prep.
The goal for the pre-event meal is to make sure you have enough fuel to get through the entire athletic event. The pre-event meal should give you the energy to perform and can help prevent fatigue, decrease hunger pain and provide hydration.
Make sure to eat your pre-game meal three to four hours before the event. If you have an 8 a.m. event, cut your calories in half and eat at around 6 a.m. or 6:30 a.m., then have a sports drink 30 minutes before the start.
It’s important to avoid foods that are high-fat. That means no fried foods, bacon, sausage, ribs, ribeye steak, fast food, lasagna, fettuccini alfredo, cheese-based soups or foods made with butter or heavy cream.
Also avoid foods high in fiber, as they will cause gas and bloating. These foods include broccoli, cauliflower, onions, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, beans or high-fiber cereals such as Kashi.
Here are some suggested pre-event meals that can help power you through competition, day or night.
Amy Jamieson-Petonic, M.Ed., RDN, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and board-certified sports dietitian at University Hospitals.