When is it appropriate for an athlete to eat before a game? How much water do I need?


I have some questions, that I need the answers for a paper by tonight.

When is it appropriate for an athlete to eat before a game? What are the nutrients an athlete needs? How much water do I take in during a game and how often do I need that water? I need to know ASAP.

Athletes should eat a meal at least 4 hours before a game and drink at least 2 cups of liquid one hour before a game as well as drinking water during a game. You want to stay fueled and hydrated for best performance.

Depending on the athlete’s sport (most are start and stop like football, basketball, baseball, hockey), nutrient needs are not higher for athletes than for non-athletes other than protein in sports that require a larger muscle mass (football) and carbohydrate in sports like running that burn a lot of fuel. Remember that athletes spend more calories than non-athletes and tend to eat more food. Food has nutrients so any increased vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin that help convert fuel to energy for the body would be provided by the additional food an athlete eats.

You want to be hydrated before your game and stay hydrated during a game. One way to determine how much water you need is to weigh yourself just before you suit up for a game and weigh yourself after a game (assuming no one dumped the cooler on your head) before you shower. That way any sweat you lost that has evaporated would be reflected in the difference between your pre-game weight and your post-game weight. One gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. So for every 2 pounds, you lost during a game, you should drink an extra quart of water next game. Measure how much water is in your water bottle and then use that volume to determine how many water bottles you need to drink. Plan to drink water over the course of a game. If you need an additional 1 quart of liquid due to sweat loss and a game lasts 4 hours, then you should drink 1 cup or 8 ounces of water every hour. Another variable in planning how much water your drink is the temperature and humidity where the game is played. If the temperatures are above 70 and the humidity is above 50%, you will need to drink more liquid and may not sweat as much especially if your uniform covers most of your body which would prevent any sweat from evaporating which cools the body.