Coaching Association of Canada

Do your athletes know what to eat on competition day?

It goes without saying that fuelling for a competition is incredibly important to an athlete’s success. We’ve prepared a list of food to help optimize their performance.

The pre-event meal must be high in carbohydrate (65-70% of total calories consumed). Fat and protein, which take longer to digest, should be consumed in smaller amounts.  

  • Breakfast 

    • Cereal — with low-fat milk
    • Yogurt — low-fat, plain or fruit
    • Fruit
    • French toast and/or pancakes – with no added butter or margarine
    • Egg dishes — not fried
    • Ham or steak — if lean/not fried (small amounts)
    • Potato — not fried
    • Rice — not fried
    • Noodles, pasta
    • Toast — with limited amounts of butter/margarine
    • Muffins — try jam or jelly, not butter
    • Beverages —Athletes should drink plenty of fluid!
    • Bottled water
    • Fruit juice — fresh, canned, cartons
    • Skim milk, Ovaltine 

  • Lunch

    • Cheese — in moderation
    • Fruit and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juices — fresh, canned, cartons
    • Cold cuts — turkey, chicken, lean beef, lean ham (reasonable portions)
    • Salads — bean, peeled fresh vegetables, fruit salad, low-fat cottage cheese (small amount of dressing) 

  • Dinner

    • Meat, fish, poultry — broiled, roasted, baked, barbecued, poached (reasonable portions; trimmed fat; skin from chicken removed)
    • Meat alternatives — beans, peas, and lentil dishes if these are familiar foods; gas produced when these foods are not part of the usual diet can cause discomfort.
    • Potatoes — baked, boiled, mashed (without butter/margarine)
    • Rice – steamed, plain
    • Noodles – plain
    • Pasta – plain/tomato/vegetable sauce
    • Bread- rolls, crackers, all breads

Pre-event nerves may upset the stomach; therefore we recommend that your athletes test the meals before, preferably in pre-exercise or training conditions. 

Coaches, enroll in the Nutrition module and gain a better understanding of the best ways to promote healthy food choices. The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) multi-sport modules series are available through your Provincial or Territorial Coaching Representative.