Here are some general food and drink tips for grading day from your club nutritionist (and player) Amanda Brien. You can catch more great tips from Amanda on her Instagram page here https://www.instagram.com/amanda.ate/
- drink water first: hydration is key to sports performance and water should always be the first choice (despite the marketing of sports drinks). Make sure you drink plenty of water ahead of your games and sip during the breaks to avoid becoming dehydrated. Sports drinks can aid recovery if you’re working out for >60mins, but just be mindful that a 750mL bottle can have up to 11 teaspoons of sugar.
- eat well in the lead up: when it comes to nutrition it’s not about single foods or meals, it’s our overall dietary patterns that count to ensure our bodies are properly fueled. The plate model can be a useful guide - 1/2 vegetables and fruit, 1/4 carbohydrates (rice, pasta, noodles, potato etc), 1/4 protein (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, legumes etc) and a little healthy fats (vegetables oils, nuts, seeds, avocado).
- timing counts: when we’re working out our body prioritises movement over digestion, that’s why we can get stitch if we eat too close to when we’re working out. We’re all a bit different but aim to eat 2-3 hours before playing and have a snack in between or after games to aid recovery.
- come prepared: unfortunately the food and drink available at sports venues isn’t always the best fuel for netball so come prepared with your own food. Carbohydrates supply the fuel for our working muscles and protein is essential for building muscles so these the types of food we should be having come game day. Think things like sandwiches/wraps, pasta salad, fruit and yoghurt, cheese and crackers, hummus and vegetable sticks, peanut butter and bread, dried fruit and nuts.
- stick to what you know: it can be tempting to try out something new come game day to help with performance. It’s best to stick with the food and drinks we’re familiar with as sometimes new things can cause stomach upsets, which isn’t fun at the best of times let alone game day.
For more ideas you can check out this resource from AUT Millennium https://www.nestle.co.nz/sites/g/files/pydnoa371/files/asset-library/documents/nutrition%20advice%20sheets/netball%20-%20anna%20harrison.pdf