Sports Dietitian Approved Starbucks Pre-Game Meals

Finding food options while on the road can be challenging for many athletes, especially when it comes to pre-game fueling. You don’t have access to the regular foods you eat at home and don’t want to risk choosing the wrong option that leaves you feeling sluggish and heavy during your game (or even worse, with GI upset).

Fueling on the road can be challenging, but I am here to help! You can find a Starbucks in nearly every city, which is why I wanted to give a few options for pre-game meals for you to try next time you’re playing an away game!

Pre-Game Fueling Basics

The pre-game meal should be high in easily accessible energy like carbohydrates to ensure full energy stores prior to the game. However, it should not be too heavy so that it will slow down digestion and performance. 

You want your pre-game meal to be:

  • High in carbohydrates: your primary energy source
  • Moderate in protein: to decrease the rate of muscle protein breakdown
  • Moderate in fats: aid with long-lasting energy
    • Note that too much fat will significantly slow down the rate of digestion, which may cause you to feel sluggish 
  • Fairly low fiber: similarly to fats too much fiber will slow down digestion and may cause bloating and cramping

Here are 2 Sports RD approved breakfasts from Starbucks that are perfect to consume before a game!

Both of these meals meet all of the requirements listed above and will provide you the fuel you need to play your best.

Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites & Loaded Steel Cut Oats

Nutrition Information: 490 calories, 20 g fat, 57 g carb, 20 g protein

Turkey Bacon, Cheese, and Egg White Sandwich & Berry Parfait

Nutrition Information: 470 calories, 8 g fat, 67 g carb, 31 g protein

Here is an example of what might not be a great pre-game choice: Double Smoked Bacon, Cheddar, & Egg Sandwich

Nutrition Information: 28 g fat, 42 g carb, 22 g protein

Although tasty, this would not be the best choice for before a game for a few reasons:

  • It is high in fat, which would reduce the rate of digestion, which would make you feel heavy on while playing
  • It does not contain enough carbohydrates to provide adequate energy to last an entire game
  • We would ideally like to see some more micronutrients in the meal to support energy metabolism processes 

^ Try this one on an off day instead!

Next time you’re on the road, give these Starbucks pre-game meal options a try!

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