Nutrition and Dietary Supplements
What you eat can have significant effects on your health. Student-athletes need to realize that a pregame meal won’t necessarily “make or break” a performance, but their overall daily diets certainly can. In most cases, a well-rounded diet consists of a variety of colors, textures and flavors meets the nutritional needs of the student-athlete. Pregame meals are very individualized; not all athletes are comfortable eating the same foods. Athletes should be allowed to eat foods that allow them to physically and psychologically prepare for competition; however, science has shown benefits of the following recommendations:
- Allow stomach to be relatively empty at the start of competition (eat about 3-4 hours before competition).
- Help prevent/minimize gastrointestinal distress (avoid new foods, or foods that don’t agree with you before activity).
- Help avoid sensations of hunger, lightheadedness or fatigue (eat enough that you’re not hungry, but don’t over-eat).
- Provide adequate fuel supplies, primarily carbohydrates, in the blood and muscles.
- Provide an adequate amount of water.
- What to Choose: Pregame Meal Guide (PDF)
- Sports nutrition info and fact sheet
The St. Norbert College medical staff does not support the use of dietary supplements for our student-athletes since the supplements are not well-regulated. There have been cases of athletes worldwide who have tested positive and lost their eligibility due to supplementation. Any product containing a dietary supplement is taken at your own risk. Please check with St. Norbert’s medical staff or use the resources below to check the following before taking any substance:
- Does your usual diet provide enough nutrition for your personal needs?
- Is the supplement banned by the NCAA (some products sold legally are banned by the NCAA)?
- Is there evidence of a safety issue (reports issued by USDA for recalls or unsafe products)?
- Is there evidence of third-party verification for truth in labeling (verified by a third-party like U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), ConsumerLab.com, etc.)?
- Is there evidence of efficacy?
- Resource Exchange Center (REC) Website
To log in, Organization is “NCAA Division III,” and Password is “ncaa3.” You are able to search a specific product or substance to find out if it is banned by the NCAA.
- SNC Medical Staff: Red Flags and Caution Steps for Dietary Supplementation
- Banned Drugs in the NCAA
- Brochure and Drug Search Information
- United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA): Supplement 411 (videos and educational materials regarding supplementation)
- National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Position Statement: Evaluation of Dietary Supplements for Performance Nutrition
This resource is from the “Journal of Athletic Training.” See pages 134-136 of this publication for many resources.