Early morning pre match, should be eaten the night before to avoid cramping and fatigue. However, a light snack such as a banana or energy bar is fine as long it is consumed at least 2 hours before the pre match begins.
Afternoon pre match meals should be consumed within 4 hours prior to the match. Simple carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, pasta, and rice are great ways to metabolize and store energy later when you need it most. A little protein is also recommended such as chicken or turkey but avoid too much because it will weigh you down.
Making the time to properly digest can be as important as the food you eat. Done properly you shouldn’t feel hungry or full. While water is important, only drink a small amount to quench your thirst but don’t over-indulge. Best rule of thumb is every 2-4 games and a little extra if the weather conditions are hot to stay hydrated.
After the match make sure you plan for post muscle recovery. A sports drink with plenty of electrolytes and an energy bar are a great combination for rebuilding the muscle tissue.