Q: What foods should you eat to start your day when you are going to play in an all day tournament?
A: First, I’ll assume that you’re planning to wake up early enough to have something somewhat substantial and are not just rolling out of bed and running out the door.
When you’re preparing for several games during the day. If you read nothing else, pay attention closely to this …
Stick with what you know and don’t try new foods on the day of competition. Or even the day before competition. I once worked with a client who came to me after she had a bad day on the field hockey field. She was hungry, a coach told her carbohydrates were important and that fiber was important, so with a large bran muffin as an option, she chose that. Unfortunately for her, her body wasn’t used to that much fiber…and she had a few GI issues during that day of tournaments that kept her cramped and certainly not performing at her peak (or at all in this case).
All that being said, a few tips.
Eat something somewhat substantial 2-3 hours before your first game.
Ideally this meal will be primarily carbohydrates with some protein. Here’s an easy way to imagine this.
Hold out your hand. Have about 2 fistfuls of carbohydrate and 1 of protein.
- 1 Greek yogurt with a banana (2 parts carbs, 1 part protein).
- 1 slice of whole grain toast, 1 orange, 1 egg.
- 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 apple + low fat milk.
The closer you get to the actual workout, time wise, the less you should eat so you don’t have heavy food sitting in your stomach.
Looking for more specific information?
Check out the IYCA Nutrition Certification
Dr. Chris Mohr