Do you know what athletes are usually eating before/after games and training?
Mizuki Kinoshita (She/Her) // Contributor
Chelle Lussi (Any) // Illustrator
What do you eat if you are an athlete, and when do you eat? One of the most important things for athletes is their meals. Simply put, the food they eat will fuel their energy. Athletes typically care about what they consume both before and after games or training, and they can have preferences as to when they eat too. Each person is different though; therefore, three of Capilano University’s varsity athletes lend some insight.
Julia Peyton plays on the women’s soccer team at CapU. She is allergic to gluten, dairy, and fish, and she usually eats meals an hour and a half to two hours before training and games, so that she can properly digest her meals and avoid cramps. She usually eats gluten-free toast with scrambled eggs and sriracha for breakfast on game days. For lunch, she eats pesto chicken pasta — with gluten-free pasta — or a sandwich. Closer to kickoff, she usually eats a quick snack, such as a granola bar. After games, she likes to eat a meal with protein and veggies, so she usually eats a lettuce-wrapped burger or a chicken burrito bowl. For recovery, she makes sure she rehydrates herself by drinking plenty of water.
Kirsten Abo plays on the women’s basketball team at CapU, and she does not have dietary restrictions, but she stays away from sugar and greasy food. She usually eats meals two hours before games. Abo typically eats steak, rice, salad and a banana because, in her words, “I like to treat myself before games, and I had a great game with that meal when I was younger.” However, if it is an earlier game, she usually eats eggs, rice, bacon and avocado. After games, she usually goes out to Cactus Club or Gyu Kaku to treat herself. On the other hand, if it is training time, she eats meals one hour before. She consistently tries to reach her daily caloric goals so she can maximize her strength, so she eats a lot of carbohydrates and protein. For post-training, she notes, “I’m not picky about what I eat after as long as it’s a big meal and is accompanied with a protein shake.”
Julian Denham-Rohlicek plays on the men’s soccer team at CapU. He has one dietary restriction: sugar. He explains, “My body reacts poorly, and then my muscles become incredibly sore and painful. Therefore, I don’t indulge in treats like candy and chocolate.” He’ll eat granola, granola bars and cereal regularly though. Regardless of if he has a game or training, he always eats a big breakfast in the morning. He enjoys two eggs, two pieces of toast, and a protein smoothie. He eats an apple and a granola bar an hour or two before games, and he eats a banana one hour before kickoff. If a game is later in the afternoon or the evening, he might have some chicken and a salad instead of snacking. For recovery, he does not have any special regimes. However, he always brings a Gatorade to keep his electrolytes up for the entirety of a game.
All three athletes have their routines, dietary restrictions and different preferences for their meals. What can be seen from all three individuals is their structure and consistency in their meals. In summary, they all mention eating good meals both before and after games, they all specifically mention getting their protein in, and hydrating post-games and training. They are all thoughtful about what’s going into their bodies, and they know what works for them. On that note, every individual’s needs and bodies are different, so make sure to find what personally works best for yourself while drawing inspiration from others.