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Planning a Pre Game Meal : Plan for Meal before a Game

A diet you consume several days before an event will affect your performance. A pre-game meal is one of the most important meals for both endurance and power athletes that will determine whether or not an athlete will achieve his maximum potential during an event.  A per-game meal allows an athlete to achieve increased muscle strength, better endurance and increased energy to perform their best. During an event the body primarily relies on the pre-existing glycogen and fat stores. This can be achieved if a pre-game meal is consumed at proper time. A pre-game meal will help to load the body with glycogen stores and maximize strength and energy that will help optimize performance.

Carbohydrate loading – carbohydrate is the main fuel used as a source for energy during an exercise. It is important to reserve adequate carbohydrate stores in the body for an event. For this, first exercise to exhaustion should be done to deplete the carbohydrate stores from the right muscles that will be used in the event. Follow this by eating a carbohydrate rich diet (60-70% of the energy should be gained from carbohydrates) and combine this with depletion exercise 3 days before an event. Now these muscles which are loaded with used glycogen will be available for longer periods of time during an event. This process gives the right kind of energy and fiber from carbohydrates for workouts and saves amino acids for muscle building and recovery.

Plan your own Pre Game Meal

Following points should be kept in mind while planning a per-game meal

  1. Timing of a meal can make a difference, for exercise longer than 30 minutes, a per-workout snack one hour before the event or practice can be beneficial.
  2. Eat a meal 2-4 hours before an event this will give the body time to digest and also include good quality protein for staying in power.
  3. Liquid meals are emptied from the stomach more rapidly, so eating them prior to workout would help as they will provide energy as well as hydration to the body.
  4. Choose simple carbohydrates before an event as they are easily digested and will provide instant energy without causing any gastrointestinal distress.
  5. It is important to replace the fluids lost through perspiration during an exercise. Drink enough fluids (avoid dairy) or around 17 ounces of fluid intake two hours before an exercise and additional 10-15 ounces within 15-30 minutes of an event. Through out competition it is important to remain hydrated, thus drink 3-6 ounce of water or sports drink every 10-20 minutes. Electrolyte replacement drinks can be consumed after one hour of exercising.
  6. An athlete’s metabolism is generally higher than a normal individual, so use fluids with high simple sugar content with caution to avoid sudden drop and maintain blood glucose levels.
A per-game meal should never be under rated as it is a very important component that will determine an athlete’s power and performance in an event.
Submitted on January 16, 2014