In spite of what Aussies or Americans say, football is a game played primarily with your feet.
But, leaving the controversial bit aside, no matter which sport you play, all footballers must eat the proper diet to be at their best.
The importance of good nutrition for footballers
A football players diet must enable him (or her) to sustain the highest level of fitness throughout their games, and with the energy requirements for football being quite high, if you’re a player, you’ll want to make sure you’re eating the right foods.
For athletes to attain their highest possible level of achievement, it not only takes unbelievable skill and dedication, but it also requires a healthy body.
Footballers are no different, so what should they be eating?
A football players diet should be
#1 High in energy to help with muscle gain – eat three meals and regular snacks everyday.
#2 High in carbohydrate rich foods – breakfast cereal, bread, muffins, crackers and crisp breads, rice, pasta, potatoes, and fruit. These should form the basis for most meals and snacks. This will help with exercise performance, recovery from training, and muscle gain.
Remember protein rich foods are not the main source of energy for exercise. In most cases the amount of protein required can be achieved simply by following a balanced healthy diet, which contains sufficient carbohydrate.
#4 Low in fat – try to avoid too much margarine, fatty meats, high fat takeaway and snacks, fried food and creamy sauces.
#5 High in fruit and vegetables – Include at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. They are necessary for preventing illness, building muscles and repairing injury.
#6 Low in alcohol – it leads to poor recovery, slow repair of injury, and can contribute to excess weight. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
What should footballers eat before a game?
Due to the high demands of training and competing in football, it’s essential that a player’s diet before the game comprises foods that can be broken down easily to meet energy requirements.
- Eat extra carbohydrate and drink plenty of fluid, 24 hours prior to the game.
- Have your last meal 3-4 hours before the game, for example pasta with a tomato based sauce and chicken; or a baked potato with tuna.
- Have a light snack 2 hours before.
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