Which Foods Will Give Me Energy?

Which Foods Will Give Me Energy?

I'm a high-school athlete. With our intense practice schedule, I'm always tired and worn out on game days. Is there something I can eat pregame that will keep me energized without slowing me down?
- Nihal*

Your overall diet may be slowing you down on game day. During intense training, it's quite possible that you're not eating enough calories to compensate for the ones you're burning. One sign that you're not getting adequate calories is weight loss.

During training, as always, it's essential to eat a balanced diet and not skip meals to ensure you're getting adequate nutrients and maintaining energy levels, and to avoid fatigue.

An excellent pregame meal or snack will have lots of carbs, some protein, and very little, if any, fat and fiber. Fat and fiber are important elements of a balanced diet, but may lead to bloating and stomach cramps during exercise. Try a sandwich with lean deli turkey plus a piece of your favorite fruit. The carbs will give you immediate energy and the protein will give you some energy later in the game.

No matter which pregame snack you go with, remember to hydrate before, during, and after your game for peak performance.

Of course, being tired on game day can be a sign of not getting enough sleep. Most teens need at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: October 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com

Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
Web SiteAcademy of Nutrition and Dietetics Offering nutrition information, resources, and access to registered dietitians.
Web SiteChooseMyPlate.gov ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information on how to follow the U.S. government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It includes resources and tools to help families lead healthier lives.
OrganizationAmerican Council on Exercise (ACE) ACE promotes active, healthy lifestyles by setting certification and education standards for fitness instructors and through ongoing public education about the importance of exercise.
Web SiteNational Sleep Foundation (NSF) NSF is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving understanding of sleep and sleep disorders, and by supporting education, sleep-related research, and advocacy.
Related Articles
Smart Snacking Healthy snacks are essential for busy teens. Find out how eating nutritious snacks throughout the day can keep your energy level high and your mind alert.
How Much Sleep Do I Need? Teens need about 8-1/2 to more than 9 hours of sleep each night. But you might not be getting it. Here's why - and tips for getting more shut-eye.
Sports Center This site has tips on things like preparing for a new season, handling sports pressure, staying motivated, and dealing with injuries.
Metabolism Your body gets the energy it needs from food through a process called metabolism. Get all the facts on metabolism in this article.
A Guide to Eating for Sports You've prepared for the game in almost every way possible: but now what should you eat? Read about performance foods, nutritional supplements, and more.
Developments Developments
Sign up for enewsletter
Get involved Get involved
Discover ways to support Akron Children's
Join the conversation Join the conversation
See what our patient families are saying