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Proper diet key to successful sports tournaments

Nutrition expert offers tips for making good food choices

Competitive athletes are faced with the challenge of competing in back to back tournaments or events that require top performance for consecutive hours. According to nutrition expert, Nancy Clark, MS, RD, good nutrition is key to a winning game. "When engaging in extended periods of exercise, your goals are to maintain proper hydration and normal blood sugar level," Clark explains. "You need to plan your strategies for fueling for the upcoming event and for refueling as soon as possible after the first event to prepare for the next session."

Clark addresses proper fueling for tournaments and games in Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 4E. According to Clark, it is important for players to plan day-long sports foods:

  • Maintain proper preevent carbohydrate and fluid intake. Adequate high carbohydrate pregame foods options are spaghetti, raisins, low fat granola or cran-rasberry juice.
  • Eat high carbohydrate sports snacks in between games. Good foods to have on hand are bagels, bananas, juices, pretzels, yogurt, chocolate milk, and yogurt.
  • Preselect an appropriate restaurant with good pre-game food choices when traveling to a tournament.
  • Pack a gym bag with favorite sports foods to eat before, during, and between practice sessions and games. Good choices include sports drinks, oatmeal raisin cookies, trail mix, oranges, bagels or energy bars.

"The right sports diet can indeed enhance performance," Clark says. "Athletes and teams who are doing well despite poor food choices can do better when they pay attention to their diets."

With over 500,000 copies sold, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook has become the all-time best selling sports nutrition guide. An internationally known specialist in sports dietetics, Clark offers sound nutritional advice for active people.

For more information, see Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

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