Winter conditioning. Just the sound of those two words together give me nightmares, and make me think back to peeling myself out of the bed at 4:45am to head over to the sports complex for a grueling workout.
If you play at a bigger program, the football staff may provide you with food to eat before you head over for the workout.
But if you're at a small school like the one I played at, you had to figure that out for yourself.
Since we didn't know what we were doing, some of my teammates would eat an orange, or an apple. Some, out of fear of throwing it back up, ate nothing at all.
Either way, I'm certain that going into these grueling training sessions without the proper fuel hurt our performances in the training, and thus hurt our opportunities to maximize the effectiveness of the training sessions.
Check out The Best Food Before Exercising, from eHow.com, which provides information on the right kind of foods to eat before a workout.
I'll give you the jist of it, real quick: you wanna eat minimal fats, mixed with with carbs (for energy) and lean protein (for recovery). Make sure you check out that article though, because they give you some pre-workout sample meals you can use, as well.
One thing's for sure: I don't miss winter conditioning AT ALL.
Good luck this winter/spring.