Game Day Fueling Plan for Athletes :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Game Day Fueling Plan for Athletes

The night before

  • Eat a high carbohydrate meal and be sure to drink plenty of fluids
  • Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep

Teriyaki chicken rice bowl

  • 1-2 cups brown rice
  • 4-6 oz chicken
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Low fat milk

Spaghetti and meat sauce

  • 1-2 cups whole wheat pasta
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 3-4 oz lean meat
  • Italian bread
  • Salad with low-fat dressing

Soft tacos

  • 3-4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1-2 cups rice
  • 3-4 oz lean ground meat or grilled chicken
  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Corn, lettuce, tomato

Evening Snack

  • Peanut butter sandwich
  • Low-fat popcorn
  • Yogurt parfait
  • Pretzels with string cheese
  • Cereal with milk
  • Trail mix
  • Granola bar
  • Banana and peanut butter

4 hours Pre Game

  • Eat a meal high in whole grain carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fat.
  • Be sure to have at least 20 ounces of fluids

Grilled chicken

  • 3-4 oz grilled chicken
  • Sweet or baked potato with toppings of choice (watch high fat choices)
  • 1 cup vegetables

Grilled fish

  • 3-4 oz grilled fish
  • 1-2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup vegetables

Sandwich

  • 3-4 oz ham, turkey, chicken or roast beef sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • Baked Lays or pretzels
Basktelball player making a layup

1 hour Pre Game

  • Be sure to have snack high in carbohydrate
  • Avoid foods that are high in protein or fat (they take a while to digest and may upset your stomach)
  • Drink another 8-10 oz of water
  • Ideas for snacks:
  • Peanut butter sandwich
  • Pretzels or crackers
  • Fruit
  • Granola bar

Game Time

  • Try to drink 4 oz of fluid every 15-20 minutes of participation
  • For continuous activity lasting longer than 60 minutes drink 20-32 oz of a sports drink for every hour of exercise to keep fuel stores and electrolytes balanced

For optimal performance, remember the three R’s:

Refuel, Rehydrate, Replenish

Post-Game

  • Refuel as soon as you able after exercise; within 15-60 minutes is optimal
  • Have a snack within 15-60 minutes and a well-balanced meal 1-2 hours following exercise

Roast beef

  • 1-2 cups brown rice
  • 4-6 oz chicken
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Low fat milk

Grilled chicken sandwich

  • 1-2 cups whole wheat pasta
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 3-4 oz lean meat
  • Italian bread
  • Salad with low-fat dressing

Whole wheat pita

  • 3-4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1-2 cups rice
  • 3-4 oz lean ground meat or grilled chicken
  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Corn, lettuce, tomato

Consult your primary care physician for more serious injuries that do not respond to basic first aid. As an added resource, the staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine is available to diagnose and treat sports-related injuries for youth or adolescent athletes. Services are now available in five locations. To make an appointment, call (614) 355-6000 or request an appointment online.

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000