Four nutrition tips to gain the edge over competition
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by our partner, Go4, in an ongoing series of health and safety-related posts.
Whether you’re competing in a spring league or preparing for the summer tournament season, your performance matters. Treat your body like a high-powered machine and focus on getting the right fuel at the right time. Optimize your preparation and gain an edge on the competition.
Here are 4 nutrition tips to gain an edge on the competition:
- You know that hydrating is important but what does that actually entail for an athlete about to compete?Hydration should be a focus on the days prior to competition as it is hard to rehydrate immediately during a game.Here’s the breakdown: Take your weight, and drink that many fluid ounces of water two days and one day before your event. A 165 lb athlete should drink nearly 1 and ⅓ gallons of water.Sports drinks like Gatorade and Body Armour are a great way to replenish your electrolytes between games. Try freezing a 32 oz and sipping the slushy between matches, or cutting with water to lighten the sweetness.
- The day before your tournament is all about high fat, high protein. Avoid going carbs only at the team pasta dinner. Instead, plan along the lines of fatty fish, like salmon and sardines.You can stick to beef, but make sure you are mixing in healthy fats, such as avocados or cheese. These higher fat foods tend to also be higher in calories and give you a great base of energy for the next day.
- Most of your energy for the tournament will come from your pre-game meal. Plan this meal to be eaten about 4 hours before your first activity. It should be roughly 500-1000 calories and contain mostly carbs and starches.For breakfast, think about egg whites, Greek yogurt, toast, and fruit . If you’re competing in the evening, try grilled chicken with brown rice and peas or corn.Skip the high-fat and greasy food right before you compete–you won’t catch Messi with a giant bacon, egg and cheese walking into Princes’ Park.
- Finally, refuel in between matches. The right snack will replenish electrolytes, vitamins and minerals.Here’s where to start:
> Salt: salted nuts, trail mix, pretzels, crackers, popcorn, pickles, and jerky
> Potassium: bananas, melons, oranges, grapefruit juice and kiwis
> Magnesium: pumpkin seeds, figs, cashews, and peanuts
> Calcium: almonds, chia seeds, dried figs, sunflower seeds
Need an athletic trainer? Go4 is a nationwide app/platform that connects teams and organizations with per diem athletic trainers for games, practices, camps, clinics and tournaments. For more information, or to find and hire an athletic trainer, visit our partners at Go4 – https://www.Go4.io/hire-ats-us-club-soccer/
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