South West United Juventus 93: Nutrition

Saturday, September 1
Nutrition... before and during competition
Nutrition...
before and during competition
(Intended as a guide only)
 

Have you ever wondered why visitors to tournaments are offered Donuts, Hot Dogs, Hamburger's, Pop and even a bag of potato chips to follow? It may not always be hospitality!

What the players eat and drink before and during a competition can be critical towards winning or losing. We all to often rely on mis-information or "when I was a kid/player" syndromes but there is medical proof that the food intake before and during a competition can and does make a difference.

Please feel free to copy the following "guide" and distribute freely. Remember it only a guide and we don't guarantee success in your next competition.

Contents:

 


Evening Meal;
Before a Competition:

Pre-event nutrition can have a major effect on performance. Players diet should be HIGH IN CARBOHYDRATES, LOW IN FAT. The target is 60-70% carbohydrate, 10-15% protein. This is a very important meal as the main energy reserves are made up from the previous days meals, not from the pre-game meal or big breakfast of the competition day.

Items recommended the night before a competition are:

Drinks

Meal Items

Desserts, Snacks

  • Apple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Vegetable Juice
  • Fruit Juice
  • Water    
  • Spaghetti
  • Tomato Sauce with Meat
  • Rice (steam or boiled)
  • Lean Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Potatoes
  • Cooked dried peas, beans or lentils
  • Salad (very low dressing)
  • Vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned)
  • Pizza, (Cheese & Veggie)
  • Bread, all varieties    
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Popcorn (no butter)
  • Fruit - fresh or dried
  • Sherbet, 1 scoop
  • Pretzels
  • Plain Biscuits    

AVOID:

Nutrient-poor carbohydrates:

- Jam, jelly, white sugar, marshmallows, jelly beans etc.

Fat:

- Chocolate, potato chips, tacos, nachos, cheezies
- Gravy, sauces, salad dressing, butter, margarine
- Fried Foods
- High fat cold cuts (bologna, salami, sausage)


Breakfast;;
Before / During a Competition

On most competition days the breakfast is the pre-game meal. The pre-game meal offers very little for the energy production system however, it can do much damage if the wrong foods are consumed.

It has been suggested that the player enter the game with stomach as empty as possible. When there is food in the stomach, the heart pumps large volumes of blood to the stomach to aid in digestion. If playing or practicing, however, the blood is shunted to the working muscles, therefore stopping the digestive process. This often causes stomach cramps and gas, making the player very uncomfortable.

Items recommended for breakfast the day of a competition are:

DrinksMeal ItemsSnacks
  • Apple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Vegetable Juice
  • Fruit Juice
  • Water
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Milk
  • Bagels
  • Raisin Bran
  • Toast, 2-3 slices
  • Yogurt
  • Muffin, Bran - Oatmeal
  • Pancakes (low butter / syrup)
  • Bread, all varieties
  • Fruit bars
  • Fig Newtons
  • Fruit - fresh or dried
  • Raisins
  • Banana

AVOID:

Fat:

- Bacon, sausage, excess butter / margarine etc.

Fried Foods:

- Homefries, hash browns, fried/scrambled eggs etc.


Lunch;
During a Competition

If lunch is a pre-game meal please refer to the pre-game section. The pre-game meal offers very little for the energy production system however, it can do much damage if the wrong foods are consumed. It has been suggested that the player enter the game with stomach as empty as possible. When there is food in the stomach, the heart pumps large volumes of blood to the stomach to aid in digestion. If playing or practicing, however, the blood is shunted to the working muscles, therefore stopping the digestive process. This often causes stomach cramps and gas, making the player very uncomfortable. Items recommended for lunch the day of a competition are:

Drinks

Meal Items

Snacks

  • Apple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Vegetable Juice
  • Fruit Juice
  • Water
  • Milk Shake
  • Milk
  • Sandwich (2oz meat, fish or poultry)
  • Cup of stock soup
  • Bagels
  • Vegetables
  • Bread, all varieties
  • Fruit bars
  • Fig Newtons
  • Fruit - fresh or dried
  • Raisins
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Pretzels- Saltines

AVOID:

Fat:

- Excess butter / margarine etc., Salami, bologna, sausage, hamburgers, hot-dogs

Fried Foods:

- French fries, homefries, hash browns etc.


Pre-Game Meals / Snacks;
Before a Competition:

During a Competition

The GOAL:

  • An empty stomach and gastrointestinal tract, but enough fuel for the muscles and enough food
    to prevent hunger.
  • A settled stomach and a confident athlete.
  • A well hydrated, comfortable athlete.

    Why?:
    So that the blood will go to the working muscles, not the
    digestive organs.Because muscles rely primarily on fuel
    stored from meals eaten in the days before the competition.
    Food eaten on the day of the game fuels the brain and keeps
    the muscles topped up when the competition is long or intermittent.
    So that pre-competition nerves don’t upset the stomach.

Items recommended for pre-game meals / snacks:

Drinks

Snacks

  • Water
  • Apple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Fruit Juice
  • Fruit bars
  • Fig Newtons
  • Fruit - fresh or dried
  • Raisins
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Saltines
  • Popcorn (no butter)               

1 Hour before the game:
(High carbohydrate, Low fat, little protein, Low fibre, primarily liquid)

  • Milk and a medium banana
  • Plain muffin and fruit juice
  • Toast with jam and milk

2 Hours before the game:
(High carbohydrate, Low fat, moderate protein)

  • Cereal, banana and milk
  • Plain muffin and fruit juice
  • Toast with jam and milk

3 Hours before the game:
(High carbohydrate, Moderate fat, more protein)

  • Sandwich - Lean meat, fish poultry or egg, milk, fruit ...or
  • 2-3 ounces of lean meat (not fried), 1 medium potato or rice or pasta, fruit and milk ...or
  • Large bowl of cereal, fruit yogurt, toast, fruit



Sports Nutrition
Handout: Sports Nutrition

Nutrition for Competition
Hydration & Controlled Fueling of the Body for Competition

The thrill of soccer lies in speed & endurance. The combination of recognition, mental endurance, agility, strength, accuracy and explosive power is required during practice, matches and especially multi-match tournaments. Fueling the body before, during and after competition is essential to maximize the performance of each athlete. Take it to heart, it could be the difference of athletic success or failure.

SERVE Powerful Foods Pre-Game
The evening before or better yet, 2 days before a competition is critical for loading the body with adequate carbohydrates and hydration. The choice: lots of carbohydrates like bread, pasta and rice with moderate protein like lean chicken, fish and moderate fat like frozen yogurt or oatmeal cookies. And dont forget an evening snack. Cold cereal with low-fat milk, popcorn(no butter) or even a turkey, tuna, or chicken sandwich is great.

After-school matches require planning, as alot of athletes tend to eat meals at school that would not be advantageous to success during games or practices of the day. Athletes should take pre-game foods along to school so they have high-carbohydrate foods as soon as the bell rings. Try these portable high-carbohydrate snacks:

High-Carbohydrate Snacks

Graham crackers
Low-fat granola bars
Fresh fruit snacks
Dried fruit
Trail or Chex Mix
Fruit cups
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Gatorade or other sports drinks
Always lots of fresh, cool water


SET an Accurate Hydration Plan
Dehydration can foil the efforts of the most skilled athletes. Gatorade helps replace carbohydrates needed for volleyball’s bursts of energy. It is easy to prevent using the guidelines from the National Athletic Trainers’Association: as follows

Start matches well hydrated – Drink at least 17 to 20 oz of fluid 2 to 3 hours before, and another 7 to 10 oz fluid 10 to 20 minutes before a match.
Provide fluids between each game – Drink 28 to 40 oz of fluid per hour or 7 to 10 oz every 10 to 15 minutes.
Be sure to encourage drinking after matches, especially sports drinks to replace carbohydrate stored in muscle and electrolyte lost in sweat.
SPIKE Energy Reserves During Tournaments
Keeping fueled during day-long tournaments is often a challenge. With varying times between matches, athletes can forget or be too nervous to eat or drink. Be prepared - pack a cooler full of high-energy snacks like those listed. Good choices during longer breaks when you can go out for food include submarine sandwiches, vegetable or cheese pizza, milk shakes, nutrition shakes and smoothies. Keep the fluids flowing so athletes start each match with a well-hydrated body full of energy.

Thanks to Gatorade, National Trainers Association, and Ann Semenske on their contributions for the article...




Water vs. Sports Drinks
What should you choose for improved performance

Proper hydration is extremely important during exercise. Adequate fluid intake for athletes, even the recreational kind, is essential to comfort, performance and safety. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the more important it is to drink plenty of fluids. Please continue reading below...   

Inadequate water consumption can be physically harmful. Consider that a loss of as little as 2% of one's body weight due to sweating, can lead to a drop in blood volume. When this occurs, the heart works harder in order to move blood through the bloodstream. Prehydration and rehydration are vital to maintaining cardiovascular health, proper body temperature and muscle function.

Dehydration is a major cause of fatigue, poor performance, decreased coordination and muscle cramping. To avoid the above, the American College Of Sports Medicine suggests the following:

Eat a high carbohydrate, low fat diet & drink plenty of fluids between exercise sessions. (Plain water or fluids WITHOUT sugar, caffeine or alcohol are the best).
Drink 17 oz (2+ Cups) of fluid 2 hours before exercise.
Drink every 15 minutes during exercise.
Keep drinks cooler than air temperature & close at hand (a water bottle is ideal).
If you exercise for more than 60 minutes, you may benefit from a sports drink containing carbohydrate (not greater than 8% concentration, though).
Take 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour to delay fatigue & fuel muscle contractions.
Inclusion of sodium (0.5-0.7 g.1(-1) of water)ingested during exercise lasting longer than an hour may enhance palatability, and therefore encourage athletes to drink enough.

Although athletes are more prone to suffer symptoms of dehydration, all exercisers can increase performance & delay fatigue or muscle pain by staying properly hydrated. Consider 'prehydrating' by drinking 12-16 ounces of water 1-2 hours before exercising.

How much is enough?
To get an idea of just how much you need to drink, you should weigh yourself before and after your workouts. Any weight decrease is probably due to water loss (sorry, but you didn't just lose 2 pounds of body fat). If you have lost 2 or more pounds during your workout you should drink 24 ounces of water for each pound lost.

Another way to determine your state of hydration is by monitoring your morning and pre-exercise heart rate. Over the course of a few weeks, you will see a pattern. This information can be extremely helpful in determining your state of recovery. Days when your heart rate is elevated above your norm may indicate a lack of complete recovery, possibly due to dehydration.

What about Sports Drinks?
Sports drinks can be helpful to athletes who are exercising at a high intensity for 90 minutes or more. Fluids supplying 60 to 100 calories per 8 ounces helps to supply the needed calories required for continuous performance. It's really not necessary to replace losses of sodium, potassium and other electrolytes during exercise since you're unlikely to deplete your body's stores of these minerals during normal training. If, however, you find yourself exercising in extreme conditions over 5 or 6 hours (an Ironman or ultramarathon, for example) you will need to add a complex sports drink with electrolytes. Athletes who don't consume electrolytes under these conditions risk overhydration (or hyponatremia). The most likely occurence is found in the longer events (five hours or more) when athletes drink excessive amounts of electrolyte free water, and develop hyponatremia (low blood sodium concentration).

What about Caffeine?
While caffeine may have some ergogenic properties, remember that it acts as a diuretic causing your body to excrete fluid instead of retaining it, so it is not the wisest choice when trying to hydrate. You're better off with plain water or fruit juice until your weight reaches that of your pre-exercise state. For additional information on hydration and exercise, check out the following links.


~ Elizabeth Quinn





FOOD, DRINK, AND SOCCER PLAYERS

WHAT TO EAT THE NIGHT BEFORE
The night before a game you should eat a high-carbohydrate meal like spaghetti with tomato sauce, rice and mixed vegetables, or a vegetable-cheese pizza.  Salads are also good.  It is also okay to round it off with milk, fruit and a granola bar.  These foods will give you the energy you need to play soccer.  You should also have lots of fluids (preferably water) the night before you play.


GAME DAY BREAKFAST
Always eat a good breakfast before hitting the soccer field.  Get your day off to a good start by choosing high-carbohydrate foods like whole grain breads or cereals, fresh fruit or juice and low fat milk. Remember to eat at least 1-1/2 hours prior to the start of any activity to give your body a chance to digest more food.  Don't eat a "large" meal shortly before competition - you'll feel miserable and won't be able to perform.


EATING BETWEEN GAMES
If you are playing more than one game in a day, you should pack a cooler with drinks and some snacks to eat between games - especially while you are away at tournaments.  Do not eat a full meal between games.  A sandwich and fruit should be sufficient if you have more that three hours for lunch between games.  Here are some ideas for snacks:  Bagel with peanut butter, jelly or light cream cheese, Banana and low fat yogurt, Low-fat granola bar, fig bars or animal crackers, Flavored rice cakes, Mini box of dry cereal, Fresh fruit (orange sections, small apple, grapes, banana), Mini-box of raisins.


SPORTS DRINKS, WATER, AND OTHER DRINKS
There are differences of opinion about which is better for you, sports drink or water.  Water provides all the fluid you need for hydration.  While sports drinks may help replace electrolytes, it is questionable whether you need that during competition.  Some sports drinks are also high in sugar which may work against you.  If sports drinks are used, they should be followed by an equal amount of water.  The faster your body can absorb fluids, the quicker you will be energized and back in the game.  Although cold drinks are refreshing and help cool you down, warmer fluids are absorbed faster.


Fruit Juices - Fruit juices are good for you, but they are not the best choice during exercise.  The high sugar content can increase the chance of a stomach ache.


Soft Drinks - Carbonated beverages are also high in sugar and the bubbles also get in the way and may prevent you from downing enough fluids.


HYDRATION TIPS
To make sure you are fully hydrated, follow these tips:  If you are eating between games, drink two 12 oz. glasses of water before you eat and two glasses while you eat.  If you're expecting high temperatures at game time, start hydrating several days before the competition.  Drink on a schedule and not when you are thirsty.  Drink fluids before, during and after sports activities.  Take a squeeze bottle filled with water to your practices and games.  Weigh yourself before and after exercise.  For every pound of weight lost, make sure you drink 16 oz. of fluid.  Take the pinch test to see if you need fluids.  Put your hand in front of you and pinch the skin on the back of your knuckles.  If you are very well hydrated, the skin should snap back once you let go.  If the skin stays "pinched" for several seconds, you may need fluids and should start drinking.