Nutrition for Performance

Nutrient timing is very important in athletic performance. Even if you complain of nervousness and have no appetite on the morning of competition, a balanced breakfast and snacks will help to maximize your performance. Practice using these techniques for the week leading up to the competition, so you get used to these meals in your training. This is called “nutrient conditioning.”

Night before competition

High carbohydrate dinner to fuel muscles


  • Pasta with meatballs and marinara sauce
  • Bean and cheese burrito
  • Thick crust pizza with veggies
  • Baked potato with beans and veggies

2 ½ – 3 hours before competition

Breakfast with protein and carbohydrates



  • Oatmeal with almonds and a banana
  • Scrambled eggs, 1 slice whole wheat toast with avocado and 1 tablespoon mild salsa
  • Waffles with peanut butter and fruit
  • Cereal with milk and banana

1 hour before competition

Snack high in carbohydrates for quick energy


  • Trail mix
  • Fig Newtons
  • Pretzels
  • Fruit

Within 30 minutes post competition

Snack high in carbohydrates and protein to replace energy and rebuild muscles


  • Low-fat chocolate milk
  • Graham crackers and peanut butter
  • Sports bar + sports drink (low sugar)
  • Banana and string cheese
  • Greek yogurt and bagel


In addition to proper nutrition, hydration is very important. We want to aim for about 10 glasses of water per day. This helps to preserve muscle strength, stamina, energy, mental processes, and reduce risk of injury.



Daryl Goldes, RD, TCRG has her Bachelors Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from California State University, Northridge and has had experience working with many athletes of many sports, including water polo, basketball, and soccer. Daryl has formulated this method based on what worked for her as a competitor and scientific research on sports nutrition.