Best Foods To Eat Before Sport

Best Foods To Eat Before Sport

Do you ever wonder what are the best foods to consume before playing sport?

It was an issue I had for a long time before playing rugby as I would commonly experience discomfort while on the pitch and playing for two forty minute halves of constant running, tackling and smashing in to each other.

This discomfort would have me feeling sick and unable to perform at my best.

Many of the younger guys would see no problem in eating egg and bacon sandwiches mere minutes before the game whereas I would tentatively have a protein bar and a isotonic sports drink.

In the end, I just gave up. I had a large breakfast in the morning and then would not eat again before the game which would kick off until 14:30.

I would keep hydrated and have a pre workout 20 minutes prior to the game and try not to notice the hunger.

Rugby is a very physical game and because you are running around a lot any foods that can cause an unsettling feeling can ‘slosh’ around and make you feel sluggish.

I would always prefer to feel a bit hungry as opposed to having indigestion.

However, it was probably a number of things that I did or did not do during the day leading up to the game plus the foods I was also consuming beforehand.

The video below explains the not only the nutrition that is fed to professional rugby union players prior to the game but also the physical and mental preparation.

Consistency and familiarity with minimal stress is key. Not trying to fit in a food shop or head over to a relatives in the morning before the game and rushing around everywhere.

  • Foods such as white meats that provide an easily digestible protein source are provided.
  • Carbohydrates are sourced from steam carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Beans cross both boundaries and are available as a source of carbs and protein.
  • High glycemic carbs are also offered in the form of white pasta and mashed potato – these are provided because the energy available is ready immediately
  • Sweet foods such as pancakes, low fat ice cream and waffles are available on game day along with frozen yogurt with mixed fruits for energy.

Trial and Error

However, not everyone is the same…

So, if you are like me and you prefer lots of smaller snack type meals instead of a hearty feast you may wish to eat rice deserts, low fat yogurts or bread with low fat nut butters.

Ensure that fluid levels are topped up, you can drink fruit juices or even tea and coffee make the grade!

It is down to you to see what works in terms of size of meal and how you prefer to eat, be it large or smaller portions, however, these are the foods professional rugby players eat so its safe to bet that they will help you perform the best you can if you stick to them.

Video courtesy of Munster Rugby and EM- Sport Science.

Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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