Collection: Game Day Nutrition Plan: Team sports

When it comes to nutrition, preparation starts well before game day itself. In fact the week leading up to the game can be just as important to your performance, as this is the period your body rests, recharges and loads for the game ahead. Whether your chosen sport is rugby, netball, hockey, football or other team sports they all require careful fuel planning to prevent fatigue over a very high-intensity game period. 

Our sports nutritionist Marewa Sutherland has put together a nutrition plan to cover all bases in the week before a game to help you reach your performance potential: 

 Timing Goal Action points Examples/ Notes
7 days pre-game Rest, recover & prepare
  • Carbs + protein < 30 min after training
  • 7-9 hours sleep per night 
  • Immune support 
  • 2-3 Litres water per day

Recovery:

Immune support:

5 days pre-game

Begin Beet loading

 

  • Mix with water or smoothie 2 hours pre-training or in AM 
2-3 days pre-game Muscle fuel loading 
  • Aim to have carbohydrate at every meal 
  • Choose whole-grain options: brown rice/pasta, whole-grain oats etc

Examples: 

  • cereals/porridge/ toast 
  • sandwiches/ toasties/ sushi 
  • Stirfry with rice/ noodles, spaghetti bolognese.  
    2 days pre-game Hydrate
    • Aim for 2-3L (or upwards depending on size) 
    PURE Electrolyte Hydration is an option in the  24 hours pre game if you don't have a huge appetite (hydrates + supplies additional carbs and electrolytes)

    2-5 hours pre-game

    • Last main meal 
    • Beet loading
    • Hydrate
    • Cramp prevention (optional)

     

    Meal suggestions: 

    • Muesli/Weet-bix + fruit + yoghurt + toast + Juice
    • Bacon (go easy) + eggs on toast
    • Smoothie + toast

    Beet loading:

    • Have first thing in the morning 

    Hydration: 

    • Depending on start time aim for 750ml-1.5L pre-game. Aim to have drink more in the morning and then sip away closer to game. 
    60-90 min pre-game
    • Snack 
    • Caffeine (optional) 
    • Hydration

    Snack suggestions:

    • Muesli bar/ One square meal bar 
    • Banana 
    • Smoothie 

    Caffeine: 

    • Coffee or caffeine tablet
    15 min pre-game
    • Blood sugar top up

    Caffeine gel options: 

    Optional cramp prevention: PURE Electrolyte Replacement Capsule

    During game
    • Hydration 
    • Energy
    • Cramp 
    • Keeps on top of hydration, carbohydrate and electrolytes
    • Practice taking nutrition on board in training to work out quantities you are able to handle comfortably 
    Half Time 
    • Hydration
    • Energy
    • Cramp
     
    • Drink + take gel(s) at the very beginning of the half-time break
    • Take any caffeine gels before or during half time 
    <30 min post game  
    • Recovery nutrition 
    • Protein + carbs + electrolytes + hydration
    5 hours post event
    • Recovery nutrition
    • Hydration
    • Ensure you have a snack every hour until the next main meal 
    • Drink 750-1000ml every hour
    • Include plenty of protein + wholegrain carbs in the first post-game main meal

     

     

    Related Article links: 

    Any further nutrition-related questions? Get in touch:

    Marewa Sutherland (Kraak), Sports and Exercise Nutritionist (Bachelor of Applied Science BAppSc) and Co-Founder of PURE Sports Nutrition.

    Email: marewa@puresportsnutrition.com