What Should an Athlete Eat Before a Game?

The ideal pre-game meal includes some lean protein, such as grilled fish or chicken, and a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain bread or vegetables. It's also important to drink plenty of fluids, especially before long high-energy games or when playing in the heat.

Protein is required for muscle building and repair, and carbohydrates provide the quick energy athletes need to perform well. Those who exercise strenuously for 90 or more minutes at a stretch should increase their carbohydrate intake beforehand, but extreme carbohydrate loading is no longer recommended. It is best to avoid fatty foods and those with a high sugar content.