5 Foods Young Athletes Should Never Eat

Before a Game

Young Athletes should avoid these 5 foods before games, training and tournaments at all costs!


t is very important for Young Athletes to fuel up before an intense workout, whether it is training or a game. But what she eats before can sabotage her performance if she eats the wrong foods.  Here are 5 Foods Young Athletes should never eat before a game to prevent bloating, sugar deep dive and fatigue.  And make sure to check out four of the best quick breakfast options for a pre-game.



1. Sports Drinks

Many Young Athletes believe drinking some sort of energy drink before a game is the best way to go for energy.  Although it might seem these type of drinks are great for a quick boost, they won’t provide sustained energy.  Energy drinks are usually loaded with sugar, not to mention chemical junk such as artificial ingredients, that leads to the sugar dive in the middle of the game sabotaging performance.  Furthermore, excessive sugar also leads to bloating and possibly diarrhea!

2. Candy or Cereal

Every wonder why your Young Athlete starts off well then seems to be out of energy later in the game? Similar to energy drinks full of sugar, candy or cereal are simple carbs that have no nutrient value.  These simple carbs might give them a burst of energy followed by the ‘sugar crash’ that can lead to fatigue, light headedness/dizziness and poor performance.

3. French Fries

Although carbs are good for sustained energy before an intense session, they will slow Young Athletes down if not eaten correctly.  Deep-fried fatty snacks, rice and pasta with rich cream or sauces will likely result in an upset stomach or trigger heartburn once your young athlete starts moving making them feel sluggish.

4. High-protein shakes and bars

Young Athletes should consume protein to support muscle recovery, but best to avoid before an intense workout or game.  Similar to fat, protein doesn’t hit the bloodstream as quickly as carbs, so it might not give them the immediate fuel they need to finish their aggressive game.  Instead, they might feel tired and shaky.

If aiming for a bar look for moderate to high carbs with low protein.  As a general guideline, aim for a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio to keep your energy levels up, says Manuel Villacorta, registered dietician and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

5. Legumes

Legumes are good source of fiber and protein but they should be eaten at the right time.  Due to its high source of fiber, legumes might lead to uncomfortable bloating and indigestion during a game.  Better off to leave the beans or hummus for after the game.