Aside from training, student athletes spend a lot of their time traveling to competitions. Whether it’s a bus or a plane, they’ve got traveling down.
They drink a lot of water.
Hydration is always important as an athlete but especially so when traveling. It can be easy to forget to be constantly drinking but staying hydrated keeps you sharp and improves your performance. Athletes always have a reusable water bottle with them. Before a bus ride, fill up your bottle to have for the trip. For plane rides, fill up your bottle as soon as you get past security. It can be annoying to constantly have to go to the bathroom but your athletic performance will be worth it.
They bring their own snacks.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and even snacks are provided during travel trips but athletes always have their own stock of snacks. Whole or dried fruit, nuts, bars, rice cakes, peanut butter packets and even oatmeal to make at the hotel are great snacks to pack. As an athlete you never want to feel like you’re starving so having little snacks to hold you over are perfect.
They get energized.
Almost every swimmer on my team drinks coffee or some kind of caffeine before a meet. There have been studies that show caffeine helps with athletic performance, especially endurance sports, by delaying muscle exhaustion. Also, you want to arrive at your competition feeling hype and ready to race and cheer, not tired from travel.
They make sure they eat enough.
Athletes don’t skimp on meals when they travel because they need to stay fueled and energized. They get enough protein and carbs that will keep them going throughout the day. A common breakfast on my team is a bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter mixed in, it is filling and you get protein from the peanut butter.
They don’t change their diets too much.
If the diet that the athlete has been using the whole season works well for them, it’s probably not a very good idea to dramatically change their diets. Most athletes I know have some sort of race day routine, they know what they like to eat before and at a competition. They don’t change that for each competition.
They treat themselves, occasionally.
After the competition is over is when athletes indulge in ice cream, cookies or other goodies. And it tastes even better when it’s after a W!