Pre and Post-Competition: What to Eat and When

If you want to perform your best each time you step onto the field, you’ve come to the right place. Athletes use many methods to get ready to compete, but one of the easiest ways to ensure you’ll perform is by eating the right things before and after. It’s as simple as this: put in good stuff and you’ll get good stuff out of it. So without further ado, let’s reveal the pre and post-game secrets:


The meal before your competition should be consumed two to four hours prior to go time. Carbohydrates should be the main focus of the meal, with a good amount of protein as well. Two to four hours leaves plenty of time for digestion but you’ll still carry the energy from a carb-heavy meal with you into competition. Then, 30 minutes before you start, top off your energy levels with a carb-focused snack.


After victory, it’s time to refuel your body. Aim to get another carb and protein heavy snack or meal within 30 minutes of finishing. This is especially important if you have multiple competitions in the same day. Chocolate milk is a great post-game drink and you can also chow down on a light meal such as a sandwich.


The last key to a great day on the court is hydration. Muscles are made of 75% water, so hydrating is directly related to how well you move. On an average day, it’s recommended you drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces. It should be more on game day. That means a lot of water, and if you grow tired of drinking water, sports drinks like Gatorade are beneficial as well. Also look for food and drinks high in sodium, as salt prevents cramping.

Focus your efforts on these three things on game day, and you’ll be ready to perform at your optimal level. When you’re physically prepared to dominate, you can be mentally confident you will.

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