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Nutrition and Dietary Supplements

What you eat can have significant effects on your health. Student-athletes need to realize that a pre-game meal won’t necessarily “make or break” a performance, but their overall daily diets certainly can. In most cases, a well-rounded diet consisting of a variety of colors, textures and flavors meets the nutritional needs of the student-athlete. Pre-game 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

Dietary Supplements
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),, etc.)?
  • Is there evidence of efficacy?


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