FC Drive | Nutrition
A tremendous amount of calories (energy) are burned and fluid lost during a single match and particularly during a tournament weekend. The primary source of energy is carbohydrates that are immediately available (from recent eating) and carbohydrates that have been stored in liver (from carbohydrate loading). A quick meal immediately before the game will barely provide enough calories for the first half of the game so carbo-loading 24-48 hours before the match becomes critical for nutritional preparation.
There are 2 sources of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates (such as candy bars, fruits, Power Bars) and complex carbohydrates (potato, rice, pasta, vegetables). Simple carbohydrates are excellent for the time before the single match and between tournament games. If simple carbohydrates are eaten and no game is played, a percentage of it goes into storage for later use. Complex carbohydrates are more difficult to digest for immediate use and tend to be stored in the liver for later use. Therefore, eating pasta or carrots immediately before the game is not as effective as eating a Power Bar with a banana. The pasta and carrots are better for the process of carbo-loading the day before.
For complex carbohydrate nutrition, please visit any of the 40 convenient Giordano's locations
Fluids are critical before, during and after the game. If the player is thirsty during the game, then there is a good chance the player did not take enough water before playing. Cramping is an important sign of dehydration and is avoided with pre-game fluids (about 10 ounces of water) before the game. Gatorade should NOT be used before the game--it is designed for AFTER the game to replenish fluids and electrolytes, especially potassium (important for muscle activity). Keep in mind excessive Gatorade consumption is known to cause tooth enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Fatty foods are particularly BAD before the game and between games. Fat provides very little calories for use during exercise. Furthermore, it causes food to sit in the stomach and blood flows preferentially to the stomach and away from the brain and muscles.
OUTLINE OF GAME TIME NUTRITION
TWO DAYS BEFORE THE GAME
Carbo-loading should begin before a weekend tournament where a higher amount of calories are consumed
ONE DAY BEFORE THE GAME
Second day of carbo-loading continues before the weekend tournament. Carbo-loading can begin today if preparing only for a single match the next day.
Lunch and Dinner
All meals during the 1st and 2nd day of carbo-loading should be balanced by appropriate amounts of dairy (milk) meats (fish or chicken) and vitamins to help meet daily requirements. The emphasis in these meals is on the carbohydrates that are listed above.
DAY OF THE GAME
If the game is in the afternoon, lunch should be medium to light (depending on time of game) and again, high in carbohydrates:
ONE HOUR BEFORE THE GAME
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE GAME
SATURDAY EVENING OF TOURNEY WEEKEND