Skipping your pre-game meal or gorging on junk food and empty calories right before an important competition is a cardinal sin for any athlete. What you eat before a game has a huge influence on how you perform. Football players burn, on average, 1,500 calories per game while soccer players burn, on average, 500 calories during 30 minutes of playtime.

In contrast, runners typically focus more on replenishing the fluids they've lost during a meet rather than the calories burned. Each sport also has different strains on the body, causing each athlete to prepare for a game differently. See what our very own Sewanee Tigers like to eat on game day and how they treat themselves afterwards.


vegetable, sauce, pasta, cheese, spinach, herb, ricotta
Ellen Gibbs

"The night before a game, I like to load up on carbs so probably the pasta line with some meatballs. I like to eat lots of fruit like cantaloupe or bananas as well so I don't cramp during the game. Afterwards, its just tons and tons of water." — Divine Maloney

"I always have to load up on carbs like Divine said. I usually go for pasta too but no sauce. Post-game, I get pasta (no sauce) once more and pair with some kind of meat. My favorite is chicken." — Mikey Plancher

Field Hockey

egg, egg yolk, sweet, butter, bread, toast, cake
Megan Prendergast

"All of the field hockey players try and eat breakfast at McClurg as a team the morning of the game. So, I usually have "fake" eggs and bacon from the Home Line and a bowl of fruit. The specific type of fruit I eat on game day depends on what fruit McClurg is serving that day. After any game, I'm always craving some cheesy 'za (pizza)." — Ellen Copper


pizza, pepperoni, dough, crust, sauce, mozzarella, cheese
Emily Waples

 "Before away games where we aren't spending the night there, the guys eat a sack lunch provided by McClurg, which consists of a sandwich, apple, chips, and cookies. However, if we're having a pre-game meal at Sewanee, I'll have pasta and a salad from McClurg. We love our pizzas! So, we usually split a Domino's pizza after games." — Noah Day  

"Clurg, Clurg, and Clurg." (*Clurg = slang term for McClurg used by Sewanee students) — Elizabeth Eidson

"As for fluids, it's water only for me before a game and, afterwards, coke and/or sweet tea." — Tasha Saunders

"The typical Clurg breakfast of eggs and some meat (bacon or sausage). Ideally, I would love to eat Logan's Roadhouse  bread rolls and a fat onion brewski steak after every game. Like OMG, yum!" — Baker Walls

"Before, it's queso and a fiesta burrito of course. After the game, I love eating some churros and deep-fried ice cream" — Nikki Johnston


bread, meat, chicken
Sasha Kran

"What I eat beforehand largely depends on whether the game is in the middle of the day or in the evening. Regardless though, I try to usually always eat some eggs, bacon, a banana, and (my favorite) a PB & Nutella double-decker sandwich. I also drink water and apple juice. If the game is in the evening, I'll eat something that's light on carbohydrates, any meat McClurg is serving that day, and fruits and vegetables. I also grab a corn dog whenever I can.

After the game, we usually have a catered meal from either Mountain Goat  Market or Mi Casa, paid for by the team's parents. If not a catered meal, then I'll hit up McClurg and drink a ton of Powerade along with eating meat and something with lots of carbohydrates in it. Then, I'll treat myself with ice cream and lots of cookies, lots and lots of those. Oh! If there are corn dogs available, I'll eat one or two of those too. You can't go wrong with corn dogs." — Hayden Byrd

"I usually do about the same as Hayden before a game and eat chicken pasta. Afterwards, I like to eat something big and fatty - like a good bacon cheeseburger" — Peter Rohr

"Before a game, I have eggs, strawberries with Nutella, and some kind of tea. The strawberries are my favorite and are a nice start to the day. None of us drink soda, we usually stick to water only, because sodas are dehydrating and not wise to drink before a game. After a game, I have pasta, lots of fries, and a Coke." — Tariro Kandemiri


Maggie Harriman

"The morning before a match, I like to keep my breakfast light but still heavy enough to keep me energized throughout the match. That usually means eating fruit, yogurt with granola sprinkled on top, toast for the carbohydrates, and a banana. I have a pretty compelling sweet tooth so, after a match, I like to reward myself with a treat, which is almost always either a donut or cinnamon roll from Mountain Goat Market. They're irresistible!" — Taylor Childress

"My favorite thing to eat before a match is a turkey + cheese sandwich on a bagel, chips, and a banana. Afterwards, I load up on protein. I love a good burger and milkshake combo." — Jack Gray


sandwich, ham, bread, cheese, lettuce
Catherine Kinney

"Here's a fun fact! We get the same 2-sandwich sack lunch that the football players are given from McClurg. However, I usually try to eat at McClurg a hard-boiled egg, a pickle, apple, and chips before a game. Afterwards, I like to keep it simple with pasta and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top." — Liz Crider

"From the sack lunch given before a game, I like to eat a pack of chips, a pickle, and two chocolate chip cookies. Afterwards, I like to consume all of the alcohols until I eat the floor." — Bella Pefianco

"I always put the two sandwiches they give to us together into one big sandwich with the meat combined. I also eat the pickle but save the chips for after the game." — Sabrina Caldwell

"I eat a pickle, cookie, and a sandwich with turkey and I add hella (a lot) mayonnaise. I eat all that with some cranberry juice too. After the game, I eat a hotdog." — Melanie Vaughn


banana, vegetable
Jenny Park

"I eat eggs, a banana with peanut butter and Nutella, and a toasted bagel before a swim meet. Oh, and of course water. I LOVE eating Greek food after any swim meet but, sadly, Sewanee doesn't have that available. So, I satisfy myself by going to Stirling's Coffeehouse and I typically order the Dimmick Day (turkey, tomato, basil and cheddar cheese) because it's amazingly delicious!" — Ashley Kreuger

"Before a swim meet, I need carbs and protein so I typically eat a bagel with peanut butter, a power bar, water and Powerade. I also try to eat some fruit as well. Afterwards, the team usually pigs out when it's an away game. Traditionally, the team gets wings and pizza from Little Caesar's. If it's a home game, I love going out to eat instead of eating at McClurg. My favorite place to go is either Yamato or Shenanigans." — Brooke Kasoff

"I eat something that has a lot of carbs before a swim meet, like a bagel. After the meet, the team usually orders pizza from somewhere and eats it together." — Mac McNally


chips, nachos, platter, corn, sauce, salsa, cheese
McKenzie Cook

"So the golf team is pretty spoiled and we typically have Panera Bread on the first day of playing in a tournament and then Chick-fil-A on the second day. We also snack on granola bars and drinks TONS of water between playing holes. Since we are all huge fans of Moe's, we usually head there for their chips and queso after playing. Once we get back to Sewanee, we love a good post-match brewski, affectionately referred to as the 19th hole since we play 18 holes on the actual golf course." — Abbey Shockley

"I don't know what Abbey is talking about. I only eat 5-star meals." — Mary Elizabeth Benton


coffee, espresso, tea, cappuccino, milk, mocha, black coffee
Jenny Park

"We all eat breakfast together as a team on game day. For me, that usually means McClurg's eggs and bacon along with coffee to wake me up. Afterwards, I always eat some chicken and pasta." — Clayton Merkert 


sandwich, bread, cheese, tomato
Angela Pizzimenti

"Since we usually play a , it's good to load up on carbs. I like to eat pasta the night before a big game and, right before a game, I'll snack on a banana for some energy. After a hard workout or game, chocolate milk is definitely my go-to. In Clurg, I like to eat a spinach wrap with turkey, provolone cheese, and chipotle mayo." — Charlsey Shirey

"Before a game, it's usually eggs and hash browns. Afterwards, I'm always down for some Mountain Goat Market with my teammates." — Amanda Watters


waffle, pastry, cake, sweet, chocolate, cookie, candy, pie
Tessa Fox

"I like to eat chicken and pasta for some energy before I play. If the game was an away game, the coach will feed us Chick-fil-A after the game. When it's a home game, where I eat varies from the pub, Clurg, and Waffle House, but I wouldn't complain if we went to Waffle House after every game." — Brody Stone

"We usually hit up McClurg and eat food that's packed with lots of carbohydrates, like pasta, and chicken with vegetables since those have lots of beneficial iron. My favorite thing to eat after a game is always Mountain Goat Market because it fills me up pretty well and is super delicious. I love drinking coconut water afterwards as well since it's very hydrating and it's important to hydrate after playing due to the fluids lost in a game. Coconut water is also my favorite drink so I don't have to be told twice about drinking it!" — Katie Wayne

"Chicken and pasta with marinara sauce are always great before a game. Afterwards, I absolutely love pizza so that's what I try to eat. To hydrate myself, I choose Gatorade." — Savannah Rose 

Cross Country / Track & Field

sweet, cake, chocolate, pastry, cookie, bread, candy, peanut butter
Elisa Djuhar

"The night before a race, I like to have a healthy meal that consists of lots and lots of vegetables. I also love drinking protein shakes and snacking on Trail Mix along with a banana and peanut butter on the morning of the race. Afterwards, I'll have something similar to what Cindy said: a light salad and drink lots of water." — Charlotte Turner

"So I get pretty nervous the day of a race. Therefore, I like to eat something simple and light like oatmeal or grits. Afterwards, I treat myself with my absolute favorite candy, Trolli Sour Gummy Worms. They are so good!" — Lexy Rouse

"The night before a meet, I eat pasta and drink tons of water. The morning of the meet, I eat fruit and peanut butter on toast. After a meet, I just eat whatever I'm craving, which is a burger most of the times." — Melissa Zankman

I think we can all agree that our Sewanee athletes all deserve gold medals for their great attitudes, incredible skills, and, most importantly, their phenomenal taste in pre-game food.