The Effects Of Food And Drink On Athletic Performance

It is a well-known fact that food and drink help fuel us for our day, but does it really make a large impact on athletic performance?

Since ancient Greece, sports players have been eating certain foods and praising their ability to improve their athletic performance. In this post, you will learn if and how food and drink can really affect athletic performance.

Can Food Influence Athletic Performance?

The short answer is yes. Food is always something that athletes enjoy before a game. Whether it’s the pancakes and omelet that helped Derek Jeter become a five-time World Series champ, or whether it’s LeBron James’ pre-game salmon and grilled pineapple, there’s something behind athletes and their favorite means, but how does it work?

diet and athletic performance

How Food And Drink Influence Performance

Food and drink have an impact on athletic performance because of the energy, vitamins, and nutrients provided in the food’s protein, carb, and fat levels.

For instance, if an athlete chooses to enjoy some meat in his meal before a workout, the protein will help him to absorb amino acids that will help him build muscle mass.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy that many athletes turn to. For example, famed American swimmer Michael Phelps consumed nearly 12,000 calories a day when training for the Olympics. He is known for eating a number of carb-heavy meals like whole pizzas, bowls of pasta, and chocolate chip pancakes.

In the way of drinks, Gatorade and energy drinks are popular among many athletes before they start their games. Gatorade wasn’t born until the Florida Gators revealed after a win in 1967 that their secret was salt water and lemon flavoring. The drink is known know around the world and endorsed by athletes everywhere.

Pre-game meals influence performance because they are enjoyed only an hour or so before a game. This gives the body time to break down and process the food or drink so that the energy can be used to help the athlete push his or her limits on the field, in the pool, or on the court.

Gatorade and sports drinks contain electrolytes thanks to their sodium levels. This helps to keep the athlete’s body truly hydrated by replacing salt excreted through sweat.


So, food and drink most certainly influence athletic performance. If you’re an athlete looking to score big, try enjoying a protein or carbohydrate-heavy meal before your next game for the best results.