Canada Winter Games: What to Eat before you Compete

Timing, size and nutrient combination of a meal or snack go hand in hand. Whether eating at home or on the go, the pre-event meal should be high in carbohydrate, moderate in protein and lower in fat. This power-fuel combination is easy to digest and gives the athlete the confidence needed to fulfil their call of duty!

The following is a guide, whether eating at home or on-the-go will allow for the right combination at the right times so that digestion of food and fluid do not hinder but rather enhance exercise performance.


The Canada Winter Games offers a “buffet style” menu, where you will choose from various different food items available. This does not mean free for all. It does mean you must choose wisely in order to compete at your maximal potential. The following simple tips will allow you to plan, prepare and execute your individualized sport nutrition plan at the Canada Winter Games!



Eat based on your needs, not because of boredom or because the variety is so tempting! Scan the menu before you arrive at the games. Once inside the dining hall, scan the buffet selection laid out and then select “the best options” for you. Foods should be familiar and balanced. Pick items that are steamed, poached, baked and boiled rather than items that are fried, breaded or crispy. Include tomato-based sauces rather than cream based sauces that are high in fat such as mayo, Alfredo sauce, gravy and butter.


NOTE: There will be more options than you will be able to comfortably eat in one sitting. If some options are tempting yet beyond what you need, it will most likely show up on another day…you can have it then!



Meals may be served at times where you will be at an event and heading to the dining hall will not be an option. A boxed lunch will be provided at the competition site. Keep in mind; the variety and quantity may not be optimal for you. It is wise to keep a food stash with you to support your individual needs. Nonperishables such as soy/nut butter, fruit cups, crackers, cereal bars, tortillas, canned flip top tuna, Milk2Go, almond/soy beverage drink boxes, dried fruit, trail mix and meal replacement drinks are just a few ideas to have on hand. These will come in handy between meals and events away from the dining hall. One boxed lunch will not be enough to keep you energized and hydrated for an all day event.



Timing is key! Only you know how your body handles amounts and types of food. Spicy, higher fat or high fiber foods may not be wise food choices just before an event. Know your food tolerances and competition schedule and eat meals and snacks that provide you with sufficient energy to perform at your best. When you have 2-3 hours before your scheduled event, consume a balanced meal and drink sufficient fluids.


NOTE: If you are nervous or your appetite is poor; graze on small snacks or keep liquid meal replacements on hand. Make your own sport drink: equal volumes of juice and water and a pinch of salt can help top up fuel and fluid intake 30-60 minutes before competing and during long events.

  Breakfast Options Lunch/ Dinner Options
3-4 hours

Full meal:

High carbohydrate

Moderate protein

Lower fat


Pancakes with berries and yogurt, turkey sausage and fruit juice, water


Whole wheat toast, eggs, fruit salad and milk/fruit juice, water

Turkey sandwich with mustard and veggies, minestrone soup, milk/yogurt, water


Pasta with tomato sauce, garlic bread, fruit salad with yogurt, water

2-3 hours

Smaller meal:

High carbohydrate

Moderate protein

Lower fat


Oatmeal topped with yogurt and berries, fruit juice, water


English muffin with peanut butter and jam, milk, water

Lean meat sandwich, veggies and hummus, milk, water


Tomato vegetable soup, crackers, banana, fruit juice, water

1-2 hours


High carbohydrate

Lower protein

Low fat


Raisin bran cereal with milk and sliced banana, water


Cottage cheese mixed with berries, small bagel, water

Granola with fruit and yogurt. Fruit juice, water


Peanut butter and banana sandwich, water