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Monday, December 22, 2008

What To Eat On Gamedays

I was at the mega gym by my house on Saturday and had just gotten done doing bench press when two friends showed up. They were there to shoot hoops, so I decided to join them. Well anyone who has ever tried to shoot baskets after working out can attest that you are not at your best. The weights negatively affect your shot. You will have no arch on the ball. Your arms will not raise up and you won’t have a solid follow through on your shot. Basically, you will not be able to really play hoops after working out. Given a few hours for your muscles to recoup, you will be fine, but don’t plan on working out immediately prior to a game of basketball.

There are things you can do before your game, though, that will help you reach prime potential, especially eating.

Most experts recommend eating about 4 hours before your big game. This will give your body enough time to digest the food as to not give you cramps and not to make you feel stuffed. You should still watch the amount you eat, but given enough time you can generally take in what you want.

Professional athletes generally have a chef on hand to make them pre-game meals. The team usually gets together 4-5 hours before their game to fill up. So what do they eat?

Usually pro athletes stack up on carbs, vegetables and protein on game day. These foods are easy to digest and give the body lots of energy. Baked chicken, steamed veggies and pasta seem to be the athlete’s favorites. Not only good for you, but the right combination of essential nutrients to keep your body in motion for your game.

Athletes also take in lots of water, as they know they will be sweating buckets while playing. If you have an evening game, try taking in a glass of water every hour or two. This will prevent dehydration and the liquids will lube up your muscles to avoid cramping. You can drink until you feel full, but stop that practice an hour or two before the start of the game.

Now if you have a day job and an evening basketball game, you cannot always time your meals perfectly. In this case, eat the healthy lunch described above and try sampling on some toast or a bagel 3 or so hours before your game begins. This, again, will allow your body time to digest while at the same time giving you the strength you will need to play the whole game.

Try this for a game or two and see if you can notice an increase in your energy level, especially towards the end of the game.

What do you eat on game days? Leave a comment below.

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First

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