Going out to eat is always fun and a great way to socialize, however, it can be tricky to choose options that will energize you without hurting your performance. As a sports dietitian, I work with many athletes who have to frequently eat out before competitions while traveling, making it extra important to become aware of the foods you eat. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while eating out before a performance.
- Pick foods that are not fried. Save those for after the competition if you want them.
- Aim for meals that incorporate some type of “color”.
- Choose meals that have little to no cream based sauces and dressings.
- Pick meals where you can follow the athlete plate: 1/3 of your plate covered in complex carbs, 1/3 in veggies, and the remaining 1/3 in lean protein.
Here are a few good options we’ve handpicked from popular restaurants here in Kelowna.
Cactus Club Café
- Bandra Chicken Salad without dressing
- Kale and Grilled Chicken Salad
- 7 oz AAA Filet or 12 oz NY Striploin with Roasted Asparagus
- Tofu or ChickenLlettuce Wraps without yogurt sauce and wontons
- Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl without yogurt sauce
Naked Café (vegan restaurant)
- Naked Greens Salad with added protein (ex. grilled Gardein Tricken, tofu) and added carb (sweet potato or quinoa)
- California Cobb Salad
- Gluten free Buffalo Chickpea Caesar (add tempeh, tofu, or “chicken” for extra protein)
- Gluten Free Vegilante Tempeh Bowl
- Black Bean Chili
- Spa Salad with added protein (If needing extra carbs, add quinoa)
- Bangkok Salad with added protein
- Pegasus Salad with added protein. (If needing extra carbs, add quinoa)
*These salads all come in wraps which are great options if needing more carbs before a practice or workout.
- Whole Bowl one with added protein and no sour cream
*Good protein choices and add-ons would be chicken, tofu, and quinoa.
- African Spiced Lentil Soup
- Idol Stuffed Cup
- Berry or Plain Oatmeal
- Greek Yogurt with Berries and Almond Granola
- Harvest Vegetable Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Ham and Cheddar Sandwich
- Chicken Salad Wrap
*If you would like to increase your vegetable intake, get the garden salad on the side which has two servings of vegetables.
- Spicy Tuna Roll
- Dragon Roll
- Grilled Chicken Caesar with no dressing
- Santa Fe Chicken Salad with no dressing
* try swapping for a non-cream based dressing to help reduce fat.
- Sirloin Steak with choice of side
- Cajun Chicken with choice of side
- Oven Roasted Salmon with choice of side
- Green Beans
- Jasmine Rice
*swap fries for a garden salad to get in greens and add color to your meal.
- Asian Sesame Salad with chicken
- Veggie Burger
- Stir Fry with Chicken
- Chicken Club Wrap
- Quarter Chicken Meal with salad as side
- Oven Baked Potatoes (opt for no butter)
- Seasoned Rice
- Garden Salad
- Build your own is a great option at this restaurant.
- The best proteins to choose are steak, shrimp, and chicken.
- Avoid cream based sauces and cheeses. Instead use better options such as Pico De Gallo and other salsas.
- This is a great place to get carbs, protein, and veggies all in one meal.
* Vegan/vegetarian options are available at this restaurant, however, they are high in fat not meeting the 2:1 ratio. Adding extra beans would be a great way to increase protein.
What you eat can make or break your performance. And it’s not just what you eat immediately before competition, but it’s about your complete training diet that can help you realize your full athletic potential. If you’d like help planning your diet to optimize performance, make an appointment with nationally recognized sports nutritionist Tristaca Curley.
This post was written by 3rd year dietetics student Cassidy Blackwin.