What To Eat On A GAA Match Day

What To Eat On A GAA Match Day
By Oisin Quinn
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We’ve finally reached the start of the season, and one of the biggest questions I’ve been receiving is about prematch diet.

These are some of the guidelines I follow pregame to make sure I’m as well fuelled as possible.

I’m not a nutritionist, this is just the guideline I follow and it may help some of you out.

The best advice I can give with regards to prematch diet is to make sure you time your meals properly so that food
has a chance to be digested so it can be used during the game.

The second biggest thing is to eat the foods your body is used to, don’t start eating a completely different diet on game day as the change may cause an upset stomach. So trial out pre-match meals even before training or gym sessions to see how the meals digest.

Then once you have your pre-match meal stick with it each week and it’s one less thing to worry about on game day.

First meal of the day: 

  • Large carb serving (pasta, oats, rice)
  • Small portion of protein/fat serving

This meal should be taken 5-6 hours before the match. This should also be the biggest meal you eat in a day. It's a perfect time for eggs, toast and fruit.


Second meal of the day: 

  •  Mostly carbs
  • Should include a small portion of protein/fat

This meal should be half the size of the first meal of the day. You should have this three hours before the match. Consider granola, yogurt and fruit for this meal.

Third meal of the day: 

This is basically a light snack

Ideally this is a liquid food, like energy gel or yogurt



Hydrating is, of course, massively important. Here's what to drink on match day

  • Drink 2 litres of water across the day, sipping the water.
  • Caffeine can be great for alertness but needs to be trialled, as it may cause stomach discomfort.

The most important thing to keep in mind is only eat food that your body is used to on game day. It's not a time for experimenting!

All of these tips are here in one handy chart for you:


Oisin Quinn is the own Quinn Strength and Conditioning and a strength and conditioning-coach based in Derry. He's passionate about the GAA and the growing sports performance aspect of Club GAA and plays with Faughanvale GAC. Follow him on Instagram and YouTube.

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