Eating properly is critical for an athlete playing any sport. A netball game — the same length as an American football game, except for the half-time break, which is only a few minutes — is particularly demanding. Much like basketball, netball players need lots of energy, stamina and strength to play multiple games per week.
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Since netball has very little individual forward movement and a lot of team play, your team is counting on you to be energized and ready to play when the game starts. Because you may have to train for netball while simultaneously concentrating on work or school, you need to plan your diet the best you can, according to the Australian Institute of Sport.
Before the Game
The International Netball website recommends high-carbohydrate foods about two hours before game time. Also, make sure you eat slowly and chew food thoroughly to help the digestive process. Some effective foods to eat include rice, pasta and a baked potato. Also, if you're too nervous before the game, your body won't absorb vitamins and minerals as effectively. You need to stay calm by reassuring yourself of your abilities.
Drinking water during the game is important, but the pre- and post-game meal should include it as well. Include water with every meal and snack you eat. Before the game, drink about 0.06 gallons of water, advises the Sports Dietitians of Australia at the Gifted Athlete Program website. Regardless of whether you play in hot or moderate temperatures, you can still become dehydrated. Weigh yourself both prior to and after the game. This helps determine how much water you've lost on the court. If you lose 2.2 lbs., drink about 0.4 gallons of water.
The ample physical contact in netball may destroy red blood cells and cause an iron deficiency. High iron foods that should be part of your diet include cereal, spinach and red meat, according to the Australian Institute of Sport. Preferably, choose a lean cut of red meat. Consume plant and animal iron sources together to help the body absorb the iron more efficiently.
Make sure to plan a snack for after the game. Some healthy snack foods include sandwiches, fruit and a sports drink. Before your team travels to another city for a game, make a schedule for when you should be eating.