Dec 9, 2016
Away Game Fueling
Emily Edison

Photo by Jonnyboyca via Wikimedia Commons

Fueling while traveling for away games or weekend-long tournaments can bring challenges for high school athletes. To start, they aren’t always in control of when or where they eat. Secondly, they often don’t know what foods will provide the best energy.

The biggest question they ask me is: What should I eat an hour or two before competing? I tell them that carbohydrates are good and to stay away from fats. Foods high in fat delay digestion and slow the passage of high-energy carbohydrates to the body’s muscles and liver. If food is still sitting in an athlete’s stomach come game time, it hasn’t been converted into energy to fuel muscles for optimum performance.

It takes at least three hours to digest a regular meal, so if there is less than two hours before a contest, have athletes try one of the following mini-meals:

  • Fruit and dairy-based smoothies
  • Turkey sandwich with mustard and lettuce
  • Instant breakfast drinks with fruit
  • Low-fat chicken wraps
  • Burrito minus the sour cream and guacamole
  • Bowl of cereal with milk and fruit
  • Dry cereal and yogurt.

Emily Edison is the owner and founder of Momentum Nutrition in Seattle and spent seven years as the consulting Sports Dietitian for the University of Washington athletic department. Since 2005, she has coordinated the Washington Interscholastic Nutrition Forum (, a sport nutrition resource and educational program geared toward high school athletes.

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