Nutrition: What to Eat Before and After Exercise

Pre-Workout Fuel:
Why is it important?

  • Provides psychological edge
  • Provides energy to working muscles
  • Minimizes hunger during practice/games

Meals 3-4 hours before practice or games

  • 2/3 of the meal should be Carbohydrates - Breads/bagels/pasta/rice/fruit juices/vegetables/low-fat yogurt
  • 1/3 protein - Lean meats (lean beef)/chicken/eggs/soy products/nuts/peanut butter

Snacks 1-2 hours before practice or games

  • Rely more on liquid calories
  • Sports drinks
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

During-Workout Fuel:
General Guidelines: 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour

  • 2-4 cups of Gatorade or other sports drink—especially important during games
  • Small granola bar and water
  • Handful of dried fruit and water

Post-Workout Fuel
Eat within 30 minutes of completing workout

Refueling Snacks

Whole foods (ideal)

o   16oz low-fat chocolate milk

o   Peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread

o   Yogurt and a piece of fruit

o   Crackers and low-fat cheese sticks

Granola Bars—good if you are travelling long distances and need something quickly on the go

Nutrition at Competitions/Showcases

  • If >2 hours between competitions, consume carbohydrate + protein
  • If <2 hours between competitions, consume mostly carbohydrate and a little protein

Source: Boston University Sargent Choice Nutrition Center: Nutrition Advisers for Boston University Men’s Soccer.