When it comes to archery nutrition, there isn’t much written that’s specific to our sport. We’ve previously given tips for eating before practice and tournaments, but what are the top athletes in our sport really chewing on?
We checked in with nine Team USA archers to get their take on what makes their favorite pre-competition plate. We learned that eating habits can vary from comfort food to strict nutrition, and food preferences are as different as the archers themselves!
“In my house, our favorite foods are spaghetti, pizza, and chicken or steak on the grill. I also like to eat fruit, especially melon and grapes…When I’m shooting in tournaments, I try to eat as normally as possible because I have actually found that if I alter my diet too much then I don’t hold as well and I see a lot of movement in my sight picture. For breakfast, I like to eat fruit or a bowl of cereal, sometimes a bagel. I also like to snack while I shoot. I snack on crackers or ranch and carrots. I like to drink gatorade or water with propel while shooting, but because I drink caffeine at home, sometimes I drink a little bit of soda too….usually not a full bottle but I sip on it sometimes.”
“When I’m at home, in the week prior to a tournament, I like to eat very clean so that my body is firing on all cylinders. At this point, I like to drop all of the fast food/pizza/fried type things and stick to healthier home-cooked options. My favorite pre-tournament meals include turkey burgers with lettuce buns, grilled chicken Caesar salad pitas, and grilled chicken fajitas with homemade guacamole. When I’m at tournaments, I like to stick with lighter, healthier options; salads, steaks, grilled chicken, etc. This way, my body feels more natural and is running off of the same type of fuel that it had the weeks prior. In competition, I stick with three major snack-type foods. These include almonds, dried fruit (mangos and bananas), and Clif bars (blueberry and white chocolate macadamia are my favorites).”
“When my archery roommate and I are feeling healthy, we might bring a cooler to the field with Subway sandwiches, apples, and cherries in it. Other times, I give in to the temptation to have sour cream and onion Pringles and double stuffed Oreos.”
“I try to have a lot of protein for sustained energy and veggies and complex carbs to keep me going. I travel on a budget but if you order the right things, you can eat just about anywhere and still be healthy. And there’s definitely no dieting during a tournament! I also drink a LOT of Powerade Zero, for the hydration and the electrolytes, since I tend to lose them very quickly in the heat.”
“The #1 most important thing for me is staying properly hydrated. I use Nuun tablets, which can be added to any bottle of water. This way I not only get the water intake my body needs, but I also get electrolytes that are lost when you are in the hot sun all day (and they make the water taste great!). I never trust a tournament to provide me with water, so you will always see me at a tournament with a cooler bag full of water, in case there isn’t adequate water provided.”
“During competitions I’ll eat Chewy bars or Belvita crackers during shootings times. Usually I’ll only drink water because I’m not a fan of sugary drinks. It’s impossible to keep my normal food routine, but I try to keep at least breakfast the same with a bagel and cream cheese or eggs.”
“I try to keep as close to my normal routine as possible when at a tournament. It can be difficult sometimes at international tournaments, so i take PB&J and other American snacks. For the night before the ranking round it is tradition to go to an Italian
restaurant for my favorite meal: pasta!”
This compound superstar kept it short and simple: “It’s pretty easy: McDonald’s. We can usually find them anywhere!”