Pre-exercise Sport Nutrition and Why

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Pre-exercise Sport Nutrition and Why

How Much and What to Take?

Meals restore the glycogen levels of the muscles and the liver. This glycogen is converted into energy during the exercise. But solid food alone is not enough. Optimum levels of fluids are as important as meals in order to ensure the required hydration. As regards the quantity, a balanced level is desirable i.e. neither too full nor hungry. This will enable the player’s confidence and make him/her ready for maximal action.

Meal Timing

Meal timing is of core significance in sport nutrition. If you are taking a big meal, it will require long to get digested, so you should take it at least 3 or 4 hours before starting with practice or exercise. If taking a snack, you can get into action after one to two hours, depending on how much you took. Usually, the best glycogen source foods are those rich in carbohydrates and low in fat. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose molecules, the ready energy source for sporting action. Fats, on the other hand are hard to digest and hence dull the spirit with feelings of satiety. 


Water is the most important of body fluids. Though it is not stored in the body like food nutrients, it is required in adequate quantity before training or competition. Water or other light fluid is needed immediately before, during, and after the sporting activity. Sometimes, the pre-exercise sport nutrition can also be taken in fluid form like Sustagen or some other liquid meal. It is quickly digested as compared to solid meal and hence does not cause much discomfort to the stomach. In addition, it adds to the intake of liquid.

Experimentation with Meals

Before an important sports event, try the different amounts, types, and timings of meals to see what best suits your activity level. Qualified dietitians offer advice on sport nutrition and they can work a diet plan for any player or athlete, considering the overall situation of his physique, health, nature of sport etc.


Like their fitness for performance, proper planning and organization of nutrition is required for better results. Good sport nutrition is essential for success in all kinds of sports.

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