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Top 5 foods to eat before a game

Fueling your body before the big game is important if you want to perform at your best. Many young athletes make the mistake of loading up on sugar-filled drinks and greasy burgers or pizza before they go out onto the field or course. It doesn't matter if you play a water sport or are a football or basketball player, you'll want to get your body set with the right kind of food. Here are different kinds of food that will give you the energy you need without bogging down your stomach.

1. Whole wheat bagel with jam - The simpler the carbs, the easier the body can burn them. Complex carbs take longer to metabolize. Bagels with a little bit of sweetener layered on top give you the perfect blend of both, which is exactly what you'll need at the beginning of a game. 

2. Protein shake with added carbs - Many athletes take a protein shake with them wherever they go. It is easy to make and is a great way to load up on protein. Adding carbohydrates like oats or a banana to the mix will give you enough energy to take on any competition. Try drinking a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio for maximum benefits.

3. Greek yogurt and trail mix - If you are participating in an endurance sport, consider eating some yogurt paired with trail mix. The fruit and nuts can give your body the boost it needs to keep you going. The sugars from the fruit are a quick fix while the nuts take longer to break down and offer a slower release of energy. Choose a mix that doesn't have any chocolate, and don't eat too much. Seeds and nuts are high in fat and could cause you to feel sluggish during your activity.

4. Smoothies - Just like the protein shake, smoothies are a quick meal you can consume on the go. Blend your favorite fruits, yogurt and oats to make a drink packed with nutritious energy. If you are planning on really working hard, consider adding 10 to 20 grams of protein to your smoothie.

5. Legumes - Different types of beans and lentils contain high levels of protein and complex carbs. Both are great sources of slow-release energy. You'll benefit from eating these if you plan on completing longer, more strenuous activities. Eat them one to two hours before your game, but don't overeat - legumes can create uncomfortable gas pains in your digestive system.

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