Eating Before Sport - 5 Tips

When it comes to what you should eat before sport, you hear the standard line which is, "everyone is different" and "it depends on the particular person". In all honesty I actually played my best ever game of football having a had a sausage sandwich with ketchup, brown sauce and mustard on white bread...about an hour before kick-off...

Now this is certainly not something you'll ever see in any nutritional guide, but the science says that you should never work out on a completely empty stomach. If you're planning an early morning session, you should always make time for breakfast, even if it's only a small bowl of porridge, piece of toast or portion of fruit, it will help you perform to the maximum.

No bananas should be eaten during sport as they require too much blood to digest You shouldn't eat bananas during sport as they require a lot of blood to digest

However the five following before sport nutrition tips will help you perform to the best of your ability:

1. Drink at least 2 to 6 litres of good clean water the day before. Yes you will be 'passing water' like a race horse for most of the day, but your body will need the fluid reserves.

2. The night before, eat the usual carbohydrates, jams, cheese, milk, porridge, cereal, fruits, perhaps even an occasional beer or glace of wine (if you are of age) and sleep, sleep and get more sleep!

3. On the pitch/court/gym do not eat bananas! Surprisingly it is actually one of the most ridiculous things you can do as bananas take 3 to 4 hours to digest and they will just drive important and necessary blood into your digestive system. This would otherwise be used in other parts of your body to generate or bring energy (oxygen & glycogens) specifically to your lungs and muscles, so no bananas.

4. Take a sliced watermelon and eat it whenever you get a chance or at half time (or the classic oranges are good as well).

5. Take power bars and sports drinks with you but, if you need a kick at any stage, drink a few swigs of Coca Cola just before any crucial stage of the game/sport. Of course you will have to deal with a possible sugar low after that, but if you've won the game, who cares?

If you stick to these tips, you'll be bowling like Broad, saving like Seaman, batting like Botham, shooting like Shearer...the list goes on. However bear in mind the sausage sandwich as sometimes that works too...

By Sam Parton

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