There are three periods to take in fluids and nutrients for a game
1. Pre-game nutrition
It is vital to realise that what is eaten in the 24 hour period prior to a game will largely determine the available energy sources to the player.
Make sure your pre game meals are high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat. Avoid fatty foods and red meat as they require too much blood moving to the stomach for digestion. Start doing this 2 days before kick off but especially in the final 24 hours before the game. Your objective is to try and get as much glycogen stored in your muscles as possible.
On game day try and eat your main meal about 3 to 4 hours before kick off, focusing on complex carbohydrates. A light snack of carbohydrates is advisable 1-2 hours before kick off
Too nervous to eat?
Some players find it difficult to eat normally before a game due to nerves and tension. We suggest the following in this situation:
2. During the game nutrition
If the players’ nutrition has been good before the game the stored glycogen in the muscles should be enough to last for the entire match. If you are struggling with energy during the game you need to re-look at your pre match nutrition as well as your conditioning. Try taking in some carbohydrate rich drinks or gels during the game to try and refuel.
The most important concern nutritionally for a player during the game is fluid and mineral loss during sweating. Drink little but often and use the half time break to replenish fluids. Drink isotonic drinks during the game.
3. The post game period
During the game you severely deplete your glycogen and fluid levels. You need to recover those after the game as soon as possible. Start immediately after the game with hypertonic drinks and water. It is also important to try and eat a small light carbohydrate snack 30 minutes after finishing your game and another meal 60 minutes post game. This meal should be rich in carbohydrates and have sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals to replenish stores and assist full body recovery.
Research has shown that 50 to 100g of carbohydrates soon after the game ends will facilitate the recovery and refuelling process. Make sure you have planned for this and the food and fluids are available after the game. Missing out on this meal and fluid replacement will significantly retard the rate and efficiency of recovery.
The following all supply 50g of carbohydrates
Source RugbyIQ.com (http://rugbyiq.com/conditioning/nutrition/1879-nutritional-guidelines-during-competitionin-season)