T Nation

Nutrition on Game Day?

Hey folks
The start of the rugby season is almost here for me and i was wondering what i should or should not be eating in terms of lasting the full 80 minutes with a decent amount of energy. I am a front row forward so will be running and tackling for pretty much the whole time (not like the part-time backs :-)Lol )

Kick off is normally 3pm on saturdays so i would normally have breakfast like normal and then a light lunch about 12-12:30 with an energy drink (lucozade sport) about 2:30.
Breakfast would be 80g oats, 30g frozen fruit, 1 banana and blended together with skimmed milk.
Lunch probably a pasta salad or sometimes a tuna baguette (trying to get carbs up pre-game)

As over the last few months i have come to realise that everything i have been doing can be improved upon in one way or another, i am sure my diet for game day can be improved. previously my thoughts have always been, dont eat too much before the game as i will feel full and slow. can anyone offer any advice on what the best nutrition for game day?

As above, my goal on game day is purely about giving maximum performance during the game and forgetting about total calories and such, that can be for the other 6 days of the week.

Thanks in advance

You seem to be on the right track.

I’d suggest a big carb meal for breakfast with grains instead of fruit. Maybe some pancakes and sausages or some sort of combo. (meat omelet and toast, baguette etc etc…)

Then maybe a protein and fruit meal to give you some sugar.

Maybe even save that energy drink for during the game if you can or have some gatorade (or a drink like it) instead. some of those drinks might cause a bit of a crash and I’d rather have natural energy instead of relying on a can.

But don’t forget to eat something afterwards too!!

Cheers chap, nice to know I’m not a million miles away from doing it right

You need to eat a lot more the night before a game and the morning of the game, then let your stomach clear as you get closer to the event. Eat slow digesting carbs and also a moderate amount of fat / protein until about an hour before the game.

As you get closer to the game I would switch over to fruit (sugar) for your energy source and then during the game sip on some type of beverage with carbohydrates and amino acids. Trail mix is great for intra-workout when you are looking at longer events because it offers fats, protein, and carbohydrates without the risk of upsetting your stomach of making you feel “full”.

Hydration is very important and you need to hydrate yourself before the game, not just after your start to sweat and become tired.

It may take some trial and error to find what works best for you but I would generally eat a large feast the night before the game, and then in the morning eat complex carbs and meats for breakfast then switch over to simple carbs and a lot of water as you lead up to the game.

On match day im usually up around 9:00 to have a whole food meal such as scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast and fruit. Because my kick off times are usually 2:30 ill eat 40 grams of whey protein powder mixed with 150 grams of oats and milk at 12:00, this gives me 2.5 hours to digest the food before the game and stops me feeling bloated during the warm up. 15 mins before the game ill drink 1 bottle of powerade and aim to drink another during the game. Soon after the game get in some form of simple carbs and protein.

I usually just wait 45 mins and eat the post game meal given to us, which is nearly always either some sort of meat sauce and pasta or baked potatoes, chicken and veg. Good luck for the coming season mate. I noticed your fron England, who you playing for?