Put Together a Perfect Gameday Meal

May 1, 2012 | Featured in the Spring 2012 Issue

Candace Parker uses her impressive athleticism to overmatch her WNBA opponents and power her scoring touch. Parker's game requires high levels of energy, which she supplies with a favorite pre-game meal that fuels her for competition.

According to Kim White, Gatorade Sports Science Institute senior scientist, a pre-game meal is essential for providing your body with the energy it needs to perform. Since energy is the main goal, it should contain 100 to 300 grams of carbohydrates.

Parker's go-to pre-game meal fits the bill perfectly, since it's loaded with carb-rich pasta. "My favorite pre-game meal is my mom's lasagna," Parker says. "It's made with beef, spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese." Parker adds a salad for an extra dose of performance-enhancing vitamins and minerals.

Make sure to consume your own pre-game meal about three to four hours before a workout or game
to give your body plenty of time to digest it. "You need to listen to your stomach," says White. If you feel too full after eating, adjust your intake accordingly.

Try this energy-rich meal, inspired by Parker's favorite pre-game spread, to help you produce on the court.

Three to four hours before...

Low-Fat Lasagna With Meat and Sauce (10 ounces)

A carb-rich meal to service the high level of energy you need for an intense workout or long game. Use low-fat cheese to keep fat content to a minimum.
Calories: 286
Fat: 6g
Carbs: 38g
Protein: 19g

Mixed Green Salad With Tomato, Cucumber, Croutons and Kraft Light Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

The veggies are an additional source of energy that provides vitamins and minerals, essential for maintaining performance and recovering from exercise.
Calories: 243
Fat: 6g
Carbs: 40g
Protein: 7g

Whole Wheat Roll

Calories: 125
Fat: 1g
Carbs: 35g
Protein: 0g

Meal Totals
Calories: 654
Fat: 13g
Carbs: 113g
Protein: 26g

15 minutes before...

G Series 01 Prime Energy Chews

Make sure to fuel up properly before your next game or workout to get off to a strong start. New G Series Prime Energy Chews from Gatorade make taking in carbs easier (and tastier) than ever. Available in orange, fruit punch or cool blue flavors, each serving of six chews contains 25 grams of carbs and 100 calories. Pop them before training or competition and you'll be ready to roll when it's time to shine. Under $2 for a package of six at Gatorade.com

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
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