A Fueling Strategy for Game Day

By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor

Jacqueline R. Berning, PhD, RD, CSSD, chairs the Health Science Department at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She was the nutrition consultant for the Denver Broncos for over 25 years.

What to Eat Before the Game

  • Hours Before Game Time

Larger meals can be consumed during this time period. However, watch the amount of fat consumed because it takes the longest to digest. Try pre-game meals like:

  • Turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread with low-fat cheese, yogurt, fruit or granola bar
  • Pasta with 3-4 ounces of meat sauce, bread sticks, low-fat milk
  • Steamed rice with vegetables with 3 ounces of chicken and a piece of fruit
  • French toast or a small stack of pancakes with limited syrup, 1 egg, low-fat milk and a piece of fruit

2 Hours Before Game Time

Solid foods can be introduced two hours before the game if the foods sit well with the player. Examples could include:

  • Small bowl of a whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk
  • Whole-grain toast or a small low-fat muffin
  • 1/2 whole-grain bagel, low-fat yogurt and fruit
  • Fruit smoothie made with low-fat yogurt or milk

1 Hour or Less Before Game Time

Football players should consume lower amounts of carbohydrates that digest quickly. Try consuming:

Liquids that contain 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates from a sports drink or gel

Do you have a thought about this article that you would like to share? If you do, email managing editor Dan Guttenplan at dguttenplan@ae-engine.com. Tweet us @fnfcoaches.