Nutrition – Practice and Game Days

Nutrition – Practice and Game Days
Nutrition – Practice and Game Days 2011-07-17T15:57:40+00:00

Coaches, Trainers, Players and Parents should understand the importance of proper hydration before, during and after all practices and games.

  • For evening practices and games, eat a normal breakfast and lunch:
    • Before the game or practice, eat a light snack
    • After the game or practice, eat a meal
  • For early morning games and practices:
    • Eat lightly at breakfast
    • After practices or the game, eat a snack
  • For tournaments, if you play more than one game on the same day or several games in successive days, emphasize foods that are high in carbohydrate (fruit, hot or cold cereal, pancakes, cold meats, soup, rice, pasta) while avoiding those foods with a high sugar content.
  • Players must know to drink fluids before, during and after games and practices. Additionally, they need to know which fluids work best:
    • Before games/practices: water
    • During games/practices: water, sports drink, diluted juice
    • After games/practices: water, sports drink, juice
  • For older players, Bantam/Midget/Junior; it is suggested to eat four or five small meals on game day rather than two or three large meals.
  • Allow two to six hours for digestion and absorption of food before competition. Follow these general guidelines:

Time To Digest Meals:

  • Large Meals 3 to 4 hours
  • Small Meals 2 to 3 hours
  • Blender/Liquid Meals 1 to 2 hours

Note: Meals high in fat or protein will take longer to digest than carbohydrate ones.

Four Basic Food Groups

Eat a variety of foods from each group every day.

Food Group Servings
Per Day
Food Sources
Meats & Alternatives 2 – 4 Lean meat, fish, liver, poultry (skin removed), low-fat cheeses, eggs, peas, beans, nuts  
Milk Products  2 – 6 
Low-fat or fat-free milk and cheeses, cottage cheese, yogurt, sherbet, ice milk, fruit shakes
Grain Products  8 – 15
Whole grain and enriched cereals and breads, pasta, pancakes, steamed or boiled rice, crackers, bagels, muffins
Fruits & Vegetables 8 – 15 Fruits and vegetables – fresh, dried, frozen, canned and in juices