Pre-Game Meal Ideas

With the season fast approaching, now is the best time to trial different pre-game meals before training sessions and see which ones you respond best too, so you can use them in-season and which ones you don't, so you can avoid them.

Most find that it is best to eat a small to medium solid meal 2-3 hours before a game, but you may require more or less time depending on the meal and how quickly you digest the food.

I have provided a range of meal ideas below and split them into 2 categories: mixed (balanced protein/carb/fat ratio) and high carb/low fat (high in carbohydrates and low in fat) - depending on your preferences.

Some fats are OK for most, but meals that are too fat rich will take longer to digest, which isn't optimal for a pre-game meal. Too much fibre is also not a good idea for the same reason, which is why I'd probably avoid foods like beans.


David Zaharakis preparing his pre-game meal (Ravioli, Diced Capsicum, Onion, Tomatoes and Bacon) prior to Essendon vs Carlton, Round 4, 2011.

High Carb/Low Fat

  • Low-Fat Yoghurt, Apple and Muesli Bar
  • Pasta and Italian Tomato Sauce (add Sirena Tuna Puttanesca for high protein)
  • Marmalade or Jam on Toast
  • Cereal and low-fat milk
  • Rice, Tuna and Salad
  • Rolled Oats, Banana and Honey (I would recommend trying overnight oats if you don't like eating hot food in the morning)
  • Pancakes or Crepes with Maple Syrup, Banana and Strawberries
  • Fruit Smoothie (try Creative Gourmet Smoothie can add whey protein for a protein hit)
  • Subway (no meatballs, ranch dressing or other high fat ingredients/sauces)


  • Toasted Tuna, Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches
  • Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwiches
  • Eggs on Toast with Spinach
  • Yoghurt, Banana and Nut Bar (Nice and Natural Nut Bars are my favourite)
  • Almond or Peanut Butter on Banana
  • Ham, Lettuce and Avocado Sandwich
  • Spaghetti Bolognese (this could be included in high carb/low fat, if you use low fat beef mince and don't dress it in olive oil and parmesan).
  • Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Fruit Juices
  • Sport Drinks
  • Low-fat milk
  • Up&Go

Eat and drink something you enjoy and makes you feel energised and ready to perform.

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