Updated: Nov. 7, 2016 at 7:13 p.m.
Basketball season is officially upon us. While you can find everything you need to know about the athletes and the season in our basketball season guide, you may still have some lingering curiosities about the athletes: Ever wonder what a basketball player eats before a game to have the ability to drain a shot from anywhere around the key or make a clutch assist? And how does that compare to what a distance runner needs to eat before a cross country race?
No college athlete has as insane of a pre-game meal as Olympic track runner Usain Bolt, with his hundreds of chicken nuggets, or eats 12,000 calories a day like swimmer Michael Phelps, but they pay attention to what they eat to maximize their performances. Here are the meals that four student athletes eat before they compete.
Name: Jaren Sina
Pre-game meal: Chicken with potatoes and vegetables
Sina said the men’s basketball team eats together before the games as a way to foster community. The meals are always healthy, but Sina’s favorite is a combination of protein, starch and veggies, he said.
Name: Eddie Muhl
Pre-game meal: Scrambled eggs and toast
Muhl said he eats carbs before a game and saves protein for after workouts and games. Since baseball games usually begin sometime between noon and 3 p.m. and Muhl is a closer, he eats snacks like bagels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and sunflower seeds before entering games, he said.
Name: Macaulay Porter
Pre-game meal: Oatmeal with banana and some peanut butter. Right before running, a few bites of a protein bar and protein goo.
Porter said she and her team have eating before races down to a science: Eat a meal three hours before, snack an hour before and eat a little something fifteen minutes before the race begins. Porter is the only one on the team to eat goo as her last snack, saying it’s more of a “mental preparation” step than a physical one. She eats oatmeal as a meal because it’s “very easy on your stomach, and it has the nutrients you need for racing,” she said. Porter leaves carbo-loading for the night before a race.
Name: Selin Ozturk
Pre-game meal: Whole wheat everything bagel from the GW Deli with egg, avocado and hot sauce.
Ozturk made some mistakes before nailing down the perfect pre-game meal, she said. Figuring out the right balance of proteins, carbs and fats was crucial – when Ozturk overate or underate, her times would slow noticeably, she said. While the right meal differs for every athlete, Ozturk said that a bagel with fixings helps keep her fueled without slowing her down.
And when it comes to ordering her meal at the GW Deli, Ozturk said one employee prepares it just right.
“Ask for Juan, he knows how to make it,” she said.
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Selin Ozturk was a sophomore. She is a senior. We regret this error.