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Power Up: Three Strategies To Follow For Game-Day Nutrition Power Up: Three Strategies To Follow For Game-Day Nutrition
Training Time: Tim Rudd for IYCA      Knowing how and what to eat leading up to and on game day can be the difference between... Power Up: Three Strategies To Follow For Game-Day Nutrition

Training Time: Tim Rudd for IYCA  

   Knowing how and what to eat leading up to and on game day can be the difference between dominating your competition or being dominated.

   If an athlete eats poorly or doesn’t eat enough throughout the week, his performance will struggle. Food fuels athletes’ brains and muscles, allowing for them to start and finish a game strong and make quick decisions that can make or break the game. Insufficiently fueling the body leads to poor reaction time, poor decisions and decreased power output due to fatigue. This can ultimately leadi to a higher risk of injury.

   If athletes wait until Game Day to follow a sound nutritional practice of sports nutrition, then they have waited too long. Good nutrition is “Training Nutrition.” This is the food they should be eating day in and day out while preparing for Game Day.

   On Game Day athletes should:

   1 “” Do what they’ve practiced: Athletes of all ages should rehearse their game day routine and do a trial run well before game day. Wake up at the same time, eat the same foods, and perform the same athletic feat. If they haven’t practiced, they’re leaving things up to chance.

   2 “” Supply their bodies with energy. During Game Day, an athlete’s main goal should be to make sure that his nervous system is stimulated for optimal performance and that they have a steady supply of blood glucose (sugar) to prevent him from gassing out.

   So the competition feeding strategy looks like this: Eat small, easily digestible foods every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Snacking is the best policy. Snacks should contain some protein, fats and most importantly, quality carbohydrates. Also, athletes should eat foods they are familiar with, something they’ve been doing all along to get them ready.

   Certain sports supplements can help with carbohydrate energy. Liquid nutrition can be very useful for sipping between events if an athlete is going to have several games or heats during the day. Liquid protein + carbohydrates best assist fluid replenishment and can provide rapidly digested protein and carbohydrates for better between race or game recovery.

Check out the rest of this article in our current issue #95 of SportStars Magazine

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