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Food for athletics part 2: A giant list of great snack and meal suggestions

Information provided on the blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or offer treatment plans.

Did you miss Part 1? Check it out here.

Suggested meals for pre-event eating

We’re all about keeping you healthy, strong, free from injury, and performing your best! So with that in mind, Mark Robinson, put together a big list of great snack and meal ideas for all the athletes out there.

1 Hour or Less Serving Size Grams of Carbohydrates
Food bar 1 bar ~ 47grams
Raisins Small box (2.5 oz.) 34 grams
Banana 7 oz. 31 grams
½ Bagel 2 oz. 26 grams
Pretzels 20 pieces 22 grams
Fig bar (2) 1 oz. 20 grams
Applesauce 4 oz. 14 grams
Sports drink 8 oz. 14 grams
Toast 1 slice 14 grams
Crackers 5 crackers 10 grams

*** Remember that sports drinks are beverages that contain electrolytes and carbohydrates, not caffeine and other stimulants.

2-3 hours before Serving Size Grams of Carbohydrates
Baked potato (plain) 1 large 58 grams
Cereal (whole grain)/ low-fat milk (1%) Cereal: 1 cupMilk: ½ cup Cereal: 47 gramsMilk: 8 grams
Bagel (whole grain) with peanut butter 1 bagel2 tbsp peanut butter Bagel: 47 gramsPeanut butter: 8 grams
Fruit smoothie 12 fl. oz. 47 grams
Food bar (oatmeal raisin walnut) 1 bar 43 grams
Oatmeal (instant)/ low-fat milk (1%) Oatmeal: 1 cupMilk: ½ cup Oatmeal: 26 gramsMilk: 8 grams
Yogurt (nonfat) 1 cup 33 grams
Pancakes/ waffles (from mix) 2 pancakes (about 5” in diameter) 20 grams
Fresh fruit (chopped apple) 1 cup 19 grams


4 or more hours before Serving size Grams of Carbohydrates
Pasta/ Chicken/ Vegetables Pasta: 1 cupChicken: 4 oz.Vegetables: 1 cup Pasta: 60 gramsChicken: 0 gramsVegetables: 6 grams
Grilled chicken/ rice (white)/ fruit (chopped apple) Chicken: 3 oz.Rice: 6 oz.Fruit: 1 cup Chicken: 0 gramsRice: 44.4 gramsFruit: 19 grams
Granola bar (oatmeal raisin walnut)/ sports drink 1 barDrink: 8 oz. Bar: 43 gramsDrink: 14 grams
Liquid meal replacement 1 can (11 fl. oz.) 40 grams
Fruit juice 6 oz. 18 grams
Turkey sandwich (w/3 slices deli meat, 2 slices whole wheat bread, low-fat mayo)/ baby carrots Turkey: 1 sliceMayo: 1 tbspBread: 2 slices7 carrots Turkey: 0 gramsMayo: 0 gramsBread: 24 gramsCarrots: 3 grams
Tuna sandwich (2 slices whole wheat bread)/ nonfat mayo Tuna: 2 oz. drainedBread: 2 slicesMayo: 1 tbsp Tuna: 0 gramsBread: 24 gramsMayo: 0 grams
Trail mix with nuts/ raisins 1/3 cup 20 grams
Spaghetti with meat sauce 2-3 cups 75-100 grams

Would you like more information?

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Mark Robinson, ATC, CSCS

Mark Robinson is a certified athletic trainer and certified strength conditioning specialist, focusing in sports medicine, for OrthoIllinois. He also trains individuals and athletes with and without a variety of medical issues at Precision Sports Training and competes as a contract athlete for Running for a cause.

© OrthoIllinois, formerly known as Rockford Orthopedic Associates 2018