16 Great Foods To Eat Before Your Baseball Game
Perhaps you once made the mistake of eating junk food before doing physical activity. The meal probably felt like a sunken blob in your stomach, making you feel tired and bloated. If only you had resisted that mouthwatering hamburger.
Determining what foods to eat before a baseball game is necessary to boost our performance and show off your full potential to the crowd. Here is an overview of when and what you should eat as a baseball player pre-game.
When should you eat before a game?
You should play on a semi-empty stomach, or when most of your food has been digested. Food is generally digested six to eight hours after eating. Therefore, you should eat 3-4 hours before a game. This is especially important if you are going to eat a meal full of complex carbohydrates and protein, which will be explained next.
What nutrients do you need the most?
An ideal pre-game meal contains plenty of healthy carbohydrates and some protein.
They are commonly found in whole plant foods as long, sugar molecule chains or fiber. When digested, the chains are broken down into glucose, or simple sugar molecules that give energy to all of our cells. That means your muscles as well.
Contrary to refined carbs (described in the next section), complex carbs are of higher quality because of their – you guessed it – complex structures that take longer to digest. This means that your energy stores last longer and you feel more full. Both benefits are important to baseball players that participate in games that last for hours. Simple carbohydrates
Simple carbs have a worse reputation than complex carbs because they are found in sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup and sugary drinks that offer no nutritional value. However, it is important to understand that not all simple carbs are unhealthy. Many fruits and vegetables contain natural, simple sugars like glucose and fructose that are classified as simple carbs.
Because of their structures, simple carbs are quicker to digest and offer a short boost in energy. Even though complex carbs do a better job of providing long-lasting energy to the body, it is a good idea to eat both kinds of healthy carbs for a diverse diet. Baseball players should consume 2.3 to 3.2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight every day.
While carbs provide energy to your muscles, proteins build and recover your muscle tissues after being broken down into amino acids during digestion. Protein also increases satiety or the feeling of fullness. This is because it reduces the levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and increases the level of the hormone peptide YY, which makes you feel full.
You should consume 0.55 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight every day.
What foods should you avoid eating?
Although they are put in the same category as simple carbs, refined carbs in processed and sugary foods result in empty calories. This is because of their lack of fiber, a type of complex carb that makes the foods more filling and nutritious. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables can provide fiber along with energizing simple carbs. Some examples of foods with refined carbs would be white bread, white rice, pastries, breakfast cereals, and crackers.
Before the game, you should also avoid high-fat foods like fried meat and fast food that are hard to digest and spicy foods that could upset your stomach.
Listed here are 15 great pre-game foods by food group. They were selected based on their carbohydrate, protein, or fat content with the help of Medical News Today, Professional Baseball Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
One medium banana = 26.95 g of carbs
This amazing yellow fruit is packed with an impressive amount of carbs because of its high natural sugar content. You can have a banana as a healthy dessert after your pre-game meal. Or include one in your fruit bowl side dish with various other fruits listed below.
Just make sure to avoid eating bananas on an empty stomach, as their high amounts of magnesium and potassium could cause an imbalance of magnesium and potassium levels in your blood.
One medium apple = 25.13 g of carbs
Apples are a (literally) well-rounded favorite, with crisp and juicy interiors filled with healthy simple carbs. You can eat the skin for some extra vitamins and minerals that aren’t as abundant in the flesh.
One cup chopped = 24.72 g of carbs
Add this bright orange-yellow tropical fruit to your meal for an extra creamy and fruity taste. Your body gets a sugar rush or energy boost after eating a few slices.
4. Raisins/dates (dried fruits)
One pitted Medjool date = 17.99 g of carbs
One cup of raisins = 129.48 g of carbs
Raisin’ your energy levels is easy with dried fruits, since the removed water results in high concentrations of glucose. You can add raisins and dates to your salad, yogurt, or granola for some kick and texture. Remember that since dried fruits have more sugar and nutrients packed in a small space, you shouldn’t overeat them.
One medium baked :
- 37 g of carbs
- 4.3 g of protein
Potatoes are one of the staple foods of the world because of their versatility and health benefits. You can bake them, steam them, or broil them and combine them with lean meat or other vegetables you love. However, avoid traditional mashed potatoes. The ingredients of that dish include butter and sour cream, which contain high amounts of saturated fats that are harder to digest than unsaturated/healthy fats.
100 g of corn:
- 25 g of carbs
- 3.36 g of protein
Corn is a classic vegetable that can be enjoyed on the cob, the side, or in your salad. It is slightly sweet and a good way to add some veggies into your meal if you hate the typical greens.
100 g of broccoli = 2.8 g of protein
Broccoli is a superfood that provides an impressive amount of protein that can be compared to other typical protein providers like seafood and meat. This green vegetable is tasty in stir-fries and can even be turned into the rice.
100 g of spinach = 2.9 g of protein
Spinach is almost at the same level of nutrient superiority as broccoli. You can stir spinach into anything, from sautéing dishes to shakes.
One cup of rolled oats:
- 27 g of carbs
- 5 g of protein
Oats are a wonderful source of healthy carbs and protein. You can toss them in milk for breakfast or include them in a delightful mix of raisins, fruits, berries, and nuts. Rolled oats are essential in granolas, which are amazing for combining foods with healthy carbs and high protein.
10. Brown rice
One cup of brown rice = 36 g of carbs
Brown rice is a great alternative to the more processed white rice. If you can´t handle the tougher and grainier texture of brown rice, you can mix it with white rice to get the best of both worlds: fiber from the brown rice and the soft deliciousness of white rice.
1 large egg = 6g of protein
There are so many healthy ways to prepare this simple but delicious source of protein:
If you want to be a little fancier and cook an omelet, make sure you are adding various vegetables and minimal butter.
1 cup of diced chicken = 38 g of protein
This popular poultry is considered healthier than red meat like pork and steak because it is lower in saturated fat. Its high levels of protein will be sure to keep you energized during the game.
½ cup = 10 g of protein
Tofu is a terrific food because of its high protein content. It has many different flavors and textures that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
½ fillet Atlantic salmon = 40 g of protein
This orange-fleshed fish is very popular and sought after for its high protein content and healthy fatty acids. Both of these nutrients are important for energy storage. Healthy ways to prepare salmon is to oven-bake it or broil it. Salmon dishes are commonly paired with side salads and other vegetables.
15. Low-fat milk
- 12 g of carbs
- 8 g of protein
Low-fat milk (1% fat) is a great breakfast beverage that is easier to digest than whole milk (3.5% fat) because it contains less fat. And don’t worry, it retains about the same amount of protein as whole milk.
16. Greek yogurt
1 serving of Greek yogurt = 17 g of protein
Like oats, you can include all sorts of fruits and berries to avoid tasting the tartness of Greek yogurt. It goes through an extra straining process that gets rid of more milk sugar, resulting in a richer and creamier yogurt that is easier to digest. The denser concentration causes it to have double the amount of protein.
There are so many more foods to eat before a baseball game that will benefit your athletic performance if the listed ones didn’t appeal to you. Just remember to research and make the healthiest choice for yourself. Healthy carbs and protein are your best friends. It is also important to plan ahead and determine the best time to eat.
Be sure to check out Ryan Weiss's coaching program and his other training programs to elevate your game.