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Game-Day Nutrition

Written By Jayme Pantekoek | Published Oct 24th 2021

What and when you eat in this time period is more important than you think. It’s important on both days out from the game and in the minutes leading up to your game. One of the most important choices to make is when you should be intaking your healthy fats. Fats are digested much slower than protein and carbs, so eating a fat-rich meal right before, or immediately after a game is not optimal. Carbs are a better choice for energy closer to game-time because they can be absorbed quickly – they can be used immediately to top off your energy levels. The type of carbohydrate is also important.

Follow these simple rules for best fueling tactics:

  • 72 hours out from a game eat well-balanced fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

  • 40/30/30 rule for well-balanced meals, meaning 40% of total food coming from Carbohydrates, 30% from Protein, and 30% from Fat.

  • Eat every 3 hours, start with a meal then a snack, meal then snack, etc.

  • Maintain this ratio for every meal and snack until the day of your game.

  • 1-2 hours out from your game, switch over to only Carbohydrates and Protein, keep Fats very minimal.

  • 20 minutes our from your game top off with some light Carbohydrates like fruit juice, Gatorade, fruit snacks, etc., and No Fats.


How to read the the Info Graphic Above:

NOTE- Each athlete will require more or less total calorie intake, the Info Graphic is about ratios not total food intake.

1- The top left column explains the role of each macro-nutrient - macro-nutrients are Carbohydrate, Fat, and Protein.

2- The bottom left column shows how many grams are each block of the macro-nutrients, i.e. 1-block of carbohydrates is equal to 20 grams, so 3-blocks of carbohydrates is equal to 60 grams.

3- The top middle column shows how many blocks you need 72 hours out from a game with your snacks and meals. Meals are labeled 3,3,2 which is 60 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fat.

4- The bottom middle column is the crucial period, 1 hour to right before the game. Notice the blocks are all carbohydrates and little to no fat or protein. I.e. 2,0,0 - the graph below the labeled blocks are the types of carbohydrates according to how fast they can be digested. The Single-Hexagonal figure in the “red” graph shows a simple carbohydrate that can absorb very quickly and the Four-Hexagonal figure in the “green” graph shows a complex carbohydrate that is absorbed slower. The closer you are to your game, and during your game, the quicker absorbing food you should choose.

5- The column on the right is examples of slow absorbing “complex carbohydrates” and quick absorbing “simple carbohydrates”.

For more information or to get deeper knowledge on how an athlete should eat before a game get a hold of one of our coaches, we would love to help!

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