97G Rush PP Nike: My Site News: Game day nutrition

Thursday, August 20
Game day nutrition
Game Day Nutrition GAME DAY PLAN

How to manage the weekend of soccer (and get into the last five minutes of the second game of the day with more energy than the other team.) 

1. Start your nutrition plan well before game day. Eat good solid meals several days before game day. Take in lots of fluid and carbohydrates. Pasta is a favorite meal.

2. Get a good night's sleep before the game. Eat a good breakfast on game day. Be sure to take in lots of fluid.

3. Stay hydrated. Most players don't take in anywhere enough fluid during and after a game. A reasonable approach is to drink a water bottle of water during the first half. Then at half time drink a sports drink such as Gatorade.  Gatorade is preferred because it has the ideal formula to help the body perform, based on high-quality research.  It is formulated to be absorbed in the body at the same rate as water.

Same thing for the second half. Use the delays that always occur during play to get to your water. 

4. Refuel after the game. 90 minutes of soccer take a lot out of you. As soon as the game is over get a sports drink and eat a bagel.

5. Eat a sensible lunch between games. Be sure to take in some carbohydrates. Too many players, especially females, don't get enough carbohydrates. They eat a nice salad and stay away from the grease, but neglect the carbohydrates. 

6. Second game follow the same pattern as the first game.

7. After the second game, take in even more fluid. Drink more than you think you can and then drink some more. If you're playing in a tournament, eat a good dinner. Pasta is good. Don't forget to take in fluid. Get a good night's sleep. Start the day with a good breakfast.



Eat high-carbohydrate foods one to four hours before you compete


The purpose of the pre-competition meal is to avoid hunger before and during the event. This meal helps you stay physically comfortable and mentally alert. If the meal is eaten at least six hours before the event and follows an overnight fast, the meal can raise blood glucose levels and liver glycogen.


Your pre-competition meal should include several high-carbohydrate foods. These foods take the least time to pass through your stomach. Most foods from the Vegetable Group, Fruit Group, and Grain Group are excellent sources of carbohydrate. High-protein foods, like lowfat dairy foods and lean meats (tuna; baked ham; broiled, skinless chicken), may be safely included in your pre-competition meal. However, eat them in moderate portions. Before competition avoid: Higher-fat foods like hamburger, sausage, lunch meats, and peanut butter. Also stay away from eating fried foods like doughnuts, chips, french fries, and fried fish or chicken. Fats like mayonnaise and salad dressings are also discouraged in large doses. Because these foods are higher in fat, they take the longest time to pass through the stomach. Foods that remain in the stomach during competition may cause indigestion, nausea, and even vomiting. If you include any of these foods in your pre-competition meal, eat them in small amounts.


Be sure to include several high-carbohydrate foods in your pre-competition meal. The following foods are good sources of carbohydrate:

Be sure to include several high-carbohydrate foods in your pre-competition meal. The following foods are good sources of carbohydrate:
Milk Group Meat Group Vegetable Group
Lowfat chocolate milk Blackeyed peas Corn
Ice milk Pinto beans Potatoes (baked, boiled, or mashed)
Lowfat frozen yogurt Navy beans Peas
Skim milk Refried beans Sweet potatoes
Lowfat milk    
Lowfat yogurt    
Fruit Group Grain Group  
Apples Bagel  
Oranges Pasta  
Bananas Cornflakes  
Pears Pita bread  
Grapes English muffin  
Raisins Raisin bran  
  Hard Roll  
  Whole wheat bread    

These sample pre-competition meals include plenty of high-carbohydrate foods. Use these menus and the handout What You Need to Know about Food when planning your own pre-competition meals:

Sample Meal #1: Orange juice, Cornflakes with a sliced banana, whole-wheat toast with jelly, and skim milk.

Sample Meal #2: Vegetable soup, chicken sandwich on wheat bread, applesauce, and lowfat strawberry yogurt.

Sample Meal #3: Julienne salad (lettuce and other fresh vegetables with think strips of cheese and turkey), a hard roll, frozen yogurt, and grape juice


The pre-competition meal should be eaten at least two to a maximum of four hours before the event. No foods, not even high-carbohydrate foods, should be eaten in the hour before competition. The only thing you should have right before competition is plenty of cool fluid so you don't overheat.


You have an important practice or a big game today. So what should you eat?


4 HOURS BEFORE PRACTICE OR THE GAME: Choose a high-carbohydrate meal from the foods above. Aim for one that supplies 8 calories for each pound you weigh.


__________________ x 8 = ____________________ your weight calories for the meal


Circle the foods you choose in red. Be sure to include something from each food group. And aim for around 120-250 grams of carbohydrate (CHO) (depending on your weight).


2 HOURS BEFORE PRACTICE OR THE GAME: If you are hungry, choose a light snack. That way, you will avoid indigestion and nausea. Pick a snack that supplies about 2 Calories per pound you weigh.


__________________ x 2 = ____________________ your weight calories for the snack


Circle the foods you choose in blue. And try for around 30-60 grams of carbohydrate (depending on your weight).


LESS THAN AN TWO HOURS BEFORE PRACTICE OR THE GAME:Don't eat anything. But make sure to drink 1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) of water or a sports drink 10-15 minutes before exercise


DURING PRACTICE OR THE GAME: Drink 1/2 cup of cool water or a sports drink every 10-15 minutes during practice or competition. Drink even more in hot conditions. This hydration is needed even in cool/cold temps.


(Information courtesy of the NATIONAL DAIRY COUNCIL.) 


Before the game, make sure you drink something on the way to the field and during warm-ups. During the game, make sure you drink every time you come out of the match, and at half time. The key here is what happens immediately after the game.


There are two issues-hydration and nutrition. To keep it simple, at the conclusion of the game and on the way to lunch you should drink 12oz of a sports drink and eat either one piece of fruit (an apple or banana) or graham crackers (5squares) or a dry bagel. A simple rule of thumb -if you've gotten back to the field for the second match and didn't have to use the bathroom between matches, you probably are under hydrated!


Why the recommendation of a sports drink after the first game?-carbohydrates. It is crucial to get some carbohydrates (50g) in during the first 30min after the game, and you need to hydrate. Using a sports drink is a very efficient way of getting in both fluid and carbohydrates. So, if you drink a 12oz of sports drink right after the match, you've started to hydrate while also taking in 21g of your required 50g of carbohydrate. If you then add an apple/banana/4-5 Graham crackers/Bagel you're set and on your way to lunch.


At lunch, you must pay attention to what you are eating and to continue drinking (keep drinking non-carbonated and non-caffeine drinks at least until you need to use the restroom). The goal is to keep eating carbohydrates, but they must also be low in fat. Make sure you return to the field with a full bottle of water AND that you drink from it during warm ups.

 12noon/4p Matches

Follow the same procedures as above, but consider what time you ate breakfast. If you ate at your regular time, you need to have some carbohydrates just before the warm up or game. I suggest a piece of fruit (or sports gel/Powerbar). The game temperature will be hotter, so hydration is more important. And, your lunch is later than on a 10am/2pm gameday-your need for calories will be greater. Continue the hydration/nutrition plan as noted above.

 Rehydrating after the game

Soccer takes a lot out of the players. In cool weather (50 degrees F), studies show a soccer player suffers sweat losses of about 2 Liters (about 3 20 oz sports' drinks) in 90 minutes. In hot humid sweat losses can be much higher, as much as 4 to 5 Liters for 90 minutes. These sweat losses are a combination of fluid loss and electrolyte (mostly sodium) loss. It is essential that the both the fluid and electrolyte lost be replaced as soon as possible, especially if there is another game to play. (Even if the next game is a few days away, it is important to replace the fluid loss as soon as possible.) Players left to themselves will probably not drink enough fluid to replace what was lost. There is a considerable amount of recent research that shows that rehydration requires consumption of drinks with significant sodium content. Water, of course, has no sodium.


Many sports drinks have a low sodium content and most soft drinks have no sodium. It appears that the best way to rehydrate is with a sports drink with a high sodium content. One disadvantage of sports drinks may be the number of calories contained. Replacing 2 Liters of fluid with sports drink can result in consumption of several hundred calories.

 Some suggestions:

Before the game drink 1/2 bottle of sports drink.

At half time drink the rest of the bottle.

As soon as the game as over, drink a full bottle of sports drink.

Drink 20 oz of water in the next hour. Get something to eat and drink more fluid. The food will help you retain the fluid and will also provide needed electrolytes.


If you have a second game, drink another 1/2 bottle of sports drink before the game. Keep drinking water and other fluids. If the game is played under hot humid conditions, double the amount of fluid taken in.


Coaches and parents should work with the players to ensure that the required amount of fluid is consumed. Often what the coaches and parents percieve as lack of conditioning, is actually the effects of deyhdration.


Providing athletes with food guidelines will help them to pick out high performance foods. Diets that are high in carbohydrate and fluids, moderate in protein and low in fat will give athletes enough calories and nutrients to grow, train and compete. Below are some suggestions of recommended foods and foods to avoid before, during, and after games.

Recommended Avoid
Water High fat foods
Moderate portions High protein foods
Bagels Sweets
Bananas Candy bars
Fruit juice Doughnuts
Muffins Hot dogs
Pretzels French fries
Sports drinks Potato chips

All athletes should drink water before, during, and after exercise. Before exercise: Drink 10-14 ozs cold water 1-2 hours before game. Drink 10 oz of cold water 10-15 min. before activity. During exercise: Drink 3-4 oz of cold water every 15 minutes. After exercise: Drink as much cold water as needed to quench thirst and the some. Note thirst does not indicate when an athlete needs to rehydrate.

Go For It Think Again
Pancakes & syrup Bacon
Cereal (Not sugary) Sausage
Bagels Biscuit with egg & cheese
Waffles Whole milk
English muffins Doughnuts
Muffins Pop tarts
1% or skim milk Soda
Orange juice Croissants
Water Lots of butter or margarine
Plain popcorn  


Lunch AND Dinner
Go For It Think Again
Baked potato & chili Deluxe hamburger
Rolls and Bread French fries
Bagels Apple pies
Salads Fried fish
Yogurt shake Fried chicken
Pasta (careful of high fat sauces) Meat pizza
Cheese pizza Soda
Lean ham Mashed potato & gravy
Tortellini Lots of butter or margarine
Single broiled hamburger Biscuits
Fruit cup Hot dogs
Roast beef sandwich Mayo and cheese
Turkey sandwich  
Bean burrito  

Low fat cheese, peanut butter with saltine crackers Yogurt with bananas, apples, pears, nectarines, oranges Frozen yogurt, milk, pudding, sherbet Graham crackers, pretzels Italian bread with low fat cheese or margarine.