Pregame Eating Habits

Before a game the minds of athletes are everywhere. From thinking about how they are going to perform, to what they are going to do after the game. But there is one thing that almost all athletes think about before every game: food. Choosing what to eat before a competition is an important event. Eating the wrong food can affect the performance of an athlete’s game positively or negatively. Each athlete has their own preference and superstitions about what to consume pregame.

According to several sources, carbohydrates take about 3-4 hours to digest and proteins take about 5-7 hours ( This means right before a game, or even a few hours before, big meals that include things like pasta or chicken, should not be eaten. Something like that should be eaten the night before or the morning of an athletes’ game. 

Most sports have team pasta parties the night before a game so that the carbohydrates are fully digested and ready to be used during the sporting event the next day. For non-athletes, this is important to know so that they know how to prepare for working out or other physical activities.

In the few hours before competing in a sporting event, athletes should eat light meals or snacks that are easy to digest and will provide energy. Fruits, vegetables and simple carbs are the best things to eat before a game to help provide energy for an athlete ( This could include bananas, oranges, or even a small salad.

Some professional athletes have a few interesting pregame foods they eat before every match whether it’s healthy or not. 

Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings safety, drinks coffee and has a shot of hot sauce before every game. 

Lebron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook all like to eat a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich before playing in a basketball game.

Patrice Bergeron, from the Boston Bruins, has stated that he has eaten chicken before every game since he was 17 years old ( -eat -before-games?slide=8).

Athletes from Ledyard have their own pregame meal traditions as well. Senior Wesley Hughes from the boys soccer team likes to eat bananas, a PB&J, and sometimes even a full meal. Senior Omar Whitmore from the boys basketball team likes to eat Swedish Fish and drink Pedialyte. 

Senior Emma Chin, from the girls cross country team, eats clementines before every meet. Senior Olivia Crawford eats applesauce before her soccer games.

Although many athletes have different pregame eating habits, it is important to know not everyone has the same body, so what works for some might not work for others. Just be sure to eat foods that will help during a game, not hinder it.

Xander Hutchins is a senior staff writer for the 2019-2020 Colonel. He is a three-sport athlete who participates in soccer, basketball and outdoor track. He enjoys working with his hands and is currently enrolled in several ceramics courses at the high School.

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