Athletes need a very carefully planned out diet. They need lots of carbohydrates and this is an average day for the athletes, food wise. They would have 75% of their calories in just carbohydrates per day. A pre-game meal three to four hours before the event allows for optimal digestion and energy supply. Most authorities recommend small pre-game meals that provide 500 to 1,000 calories.
The meal should be high in starch, which breaks down more easily than protein and fats. The starch should be in the form of complex carbohydrates (breads, cold cereal, pasta, fruits and vegetables). They are digested at a rate that provides consistent energy to the body and are emptied from the stomach in two to three hours.