Powering up for game day


Tristan McCammond

A pie chart of the responses players gave with when asked what they eat before a game.

Food is an essential nutrient that not only fuels daily life but performance. For athletes who have a big game up and coming, performance is key, and the nutrients they consume can be a major factor in determining their outcomes.

Many players agree that nutrition is an important part of their regimen for success in a game, but what is not so agreed upon is how they make it a part of their regiment and what foods to eat, and how much it really affects their performance. For instance senior Ben Egbo on varsity boys basketball has “been focusing on [nutrition] a little more. I think it does affect your performance, and how your body reacts, so I think that’s a big part.” 

A popular answer on what athletes ate varied into some form of carbohydrate, as they give quick boosts of energy, which is perfect for a short term game or competition. Egbo tried “to eat carbs the night before the game and usually a smoothie or some type of fruit right before the game.” provides him with that quick boost of sugar to get him through the game. Junior Axl Lossing on boys tennis packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to provide him with the carbs and energy to get through his next match. 

But not all find carbohydrates an effective way to get ready for a game. Athletes like senior Casey Hunt on varsity girls soccer try to fill up on protein before a game, stating “I try to eat protein; like, chicken salad is very good.” With a filling meal providing enough nutrients to perform in game rather than a carbohydrate boost. Junior Juan Osorio on the varsity football team typically eats a protein bar, a provided snack, but he also makes sure to drink lots of water, as hydration is often a critically under looked player. He’s not alone; sophomore Stanley Cooc of junior varsity football also said that a protein bar was more than enough to provide energy for a game. Some like freshman Diesel Eliason on Freshman/sophomore football like a mix of carbs and protein. “I like to eat steak, usually a burger though,” Eliason answered.

Some however do not eat at all. Junior Chloe Perkett on junior varsity girls soccer does not eat anything before a big game, and senior Gabby Otis on cheer acknowledged that nutrition is important and can affect performance, but finds that she “does better when [she does not] eat.”

Both sides of the argument are reasonable, as running around on a full stomach can be an uncomfortable experience, so finding a balance of what to eat and when, is truly one of the major factors of success in an upcoming competition.