For those competitive/playoff games where you’re looking for a little edge, proper game day nutrition is essential. Outside of specific games, I like to publicize this for my parents just as a standard MO for the season–it helps avoid cramping and stomach aches on the field. Through trial and error (especially with my own play) here is what seems to work best:
- Extra hydration is good the evening before a morning game -or- in the morning for an afternoon game. Do NOT attempt to “catch up” by drinking a lot a couple hours before the game
- It’s ok to play hungry (in both senses of the word). Do not eat even two hours before a game. For those 8a games, have a big dinner the night before and eat breakfast after the game
- For snacks or small meals 3 hours before a game, protein is better than carbs
- Never eat during halftime.
I’m sure someone with a more applicable background than me can comment on or validate the science behind this–it is nothing more than my own opinion based on experience.
Update: I came across this infographic which could be handy to send to parents as needed. Validates some of my anecdotal observations: