Plan Your Next Tournament Performance Food in 5 Simple Steps

Whether your games are close together or more spread out, show up ready to compete, achieve a superior performance and recover after competition to prepare for the next competition!

Tournaments are some of the best memories I have as an athlete (whether we won or lost!). They are a place for you to grow as a team or individual, and not to mention they are typically pretty fun! Tournaments bring together athletes, parents, coaches and team supporters from far and wide, who all want to support the athletes to achieve a top performance (and maybe even win the tournament)!

Most sports have tournaments, and in each sport tournaments are set up VERY differently. Some sports compete multiple times in a day, where some compete once a day or every couple of days.


However, many face challenges at tournaments such as restaurant food selections (hello fast food!), heavy tournament schedules (4 games in one day….) and restrictive team budgets ($7 per meal anyone?) that are a barrier to having a top performance.

Often athletes dehydrate quickly in tournaments due to the demanding schedule, don’t recover between competitions and end up eating too close to competition leaving them feeling not so great (ugh). If you’ve been following along with the ET4P movement, you know that none of these things are setting you up for a top performance.


If you plan, eat around the 4 key moments to eat around sport (learn how to do this here), eat foods that are designed for performance (download your food list here) you can achieve a top performance all tournament long and win that trophy or banner we all want (wooooooo!)


#1: Plan to eat on time!

– Write down your game times and then write in when you will eat around them

#2: Make a powerful grocery list

– Decide what food you will purchase and cook ahead of time

*Power tip: Some foods such as dried fruit, nuts, tetra packed milk all travel well without needing a cooler. However if you plan to pack more perishable foods, such as one of our performance meals, you’ll need to be thinking about how you will store and travel with that food.

#3: Name your food support roster

– Source what grocery stores are close to the sports center or hotel, and what you will get at the grocery store

– Decide whether you will source a caterer or be eating in restaurants 

*Power tip: If you go with a caterer or restaurant, you need to determine a menu with them in your next step!

#4: Cook for the win!!!

– Determine when you will shop for the groceries and when you will cook

– Contact the caterers and restaurants to discuss the menu they can provide

*Power Tip: If you are using restaurants and caterers, you want to make sure you are getting performance meals and snacks that are designed for a top performance.  ET4P has designed recipes that are 4P approved for performance, which caterers could refer to (win win) so be sure to check those out here:

– Call the hotel and ask what tools are available for you

*Power Tip: If you don’t have access to storage at the hotel, coffee makers can be used to make oatmeal in the morning -one of my go-to on long trips! No fridge or microwave needed. Just top with nuts, seeds and fruit!

#5: Pack like a champion

(The last step, but oh soooo important)

– If you don’t pack the food right, you could end up with sick athletes, definitely not setting you up for a successful tournament

-There are tools that can help you keep performance foods at the right temperature. Here are a few things you may want to pack or have on hand:

– Cooler and ice packs to store food

-Slow-cooker to reheat meals you’ve prepared ahead of time

– Blender to make a quick recovery drink and an emergency food kit in case you’re in a pinch between games, stuck in traffic or restaurant/catering plans fall through.



There you have it, 5 simple steps to set you up for tournament success. Now it’s time to implement that plan and win the tournament!

If you don’t follow and stick to your tournament plan, you could eat too close to competition, eat foods that are difficult to digest, your muscles might not have the energy they need and you could become dehydrated. All of these can hold you back from winning the tournament! You can learn how to eat for performance with our sports nutrition course.

Show up ready to play and have an AMAZING HIGH PERFORMING tournament.

Do you have a tournament coming up or a heavy playoff schedule?

Our Tournament Planning Mini-Course teaches you how to plan your meals around busy tournament schedules so you can have top energy during your games, improve your concentration levels, and maximize your performance!


Try this slow-cooker recipe at your next tournament!

Speedster Veggie Chilli




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