If your pre-game snack is made up of foods like potato chips, puddings, or soda, you may not be reaching your full athletic potential.
Foods high in sugar or containing caffeine can cause fatigue and dehydration. Pre-game snacks must contain nutrients to help your body reach its highest potential.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and the most important nutrient you can provide your body with before practice or a game. Your diet should ideally be 60% carbohydrates. Imagine your plate is divided in half. A little over half of that plate should be foods high in carbohydrates. According to Academy’s trainer, Kim Stercula, “If athletes have less than 45% carbohydrates in their daily caloric intake, they will not improve their performance.” So, avoid snacks with high sugar, and go for something like a bagel or cereal instead.
Snacks can also be tailored to your specific sport to help you to perform your best. If you play a sport that requires activity for long amounts of time, like cross-country or football, you should eat moderate to low glycemic foods. If your sport requires high amounts of activity for a short amount of time, like track or swimming, you should be eating high glycemic foods.
Moderate to Low Glycemic Food: bananas, pita bread, pasta, grapes, yogurt, apples, nuts powerbars
High Glycemic Foods: pretzels, sports drinks, bagels, cereal, raisins, corn chips
Written by Annie Dunlap’15