WHAT TO EAT BEFORE A GAME
ARE CARBOHYDRATES TRUE FRIENDS? By Lautaro N. Arborelo Lautaro N. Arborelo is a qualified, professional nutrionist who has worked for FC Barcelona beach soccer team and other sports for a number of years.
aking care of diet and nutrition before a match or competition can be the key to providing an extra edge once on the sand.
The right approach to dietary matters not only helps athletes to combat fatigue and injuries more efficiently but also improves performance. When planning a nutrition schedule during competition, there are a number of aspects we need to take into account, including the time of day when the match will take place as well as where the competition is happening. For example, the optimum diet for a game in the evening will differ from the one most suited to playing before noon, in much the same way as how we need to take into consideration the heat and humidity when deciding what to eat or drink.
Give me carbohydrates, and something elseâ€Ś Carbohydrates give us the energy we need for physical activity and therefore they become key allies when talking about nutrition before competition. Rice or pasta, preferably wholegrain, are excellent sources of energy, especially when coupled with vegetables. They help us reduce the glycemic index, and assist in preventing sugar being assimilated too soon before competition. Athletes should also ensure the consummation of protein such as meat or fish, although greasy sauces, stodgy casseroles and fried food are all off the menu. Notwithstanding, remember to take it easy when it comes to protein, as studies have shown that huge amounts do not have any effect in boosting performance. Hydrate yourself! No nutrition plan is complete without muscle hydration. In fact, from two hours prior to the match we have to forget solid foods and focus solely on liquids. Drinks with sugar content, such as juices or isotonic drinks, are ideal and if we drink them in short sips, then even better. Be careful with salt levels in your meals, too! Excessive salt is the enemy when it comes to hydration, as it neutralises water molecules and increases dehydration and thirst.