Eating for best performance
The food you eat and the fluids you drink provide your body with the energy it needs. The amount of energy you need depends on you as an individual, on the training phase you are in and on your daily activities off the pitch. If you train every day, your body needs more energy to maintain your performance than a player who does so only twice a week. You also need enough energy to prevent you from tiredness towards the end of a match. Link: Nutrition for Football; p.12-13
You don’t need to become a nutrition expert – consider the below and you will optimize your training and match performance:
Carbohydrate is the most important fuel for sports. It is stored in your muscles from where it is released during exercise, Your every day’s eating and drinking plan therefore needs to provide enough carbohydrate to both fuel your training programme and to refill / replenish your muscle stores between workouts. Click here for examples of high carbohydrate food. Nutrition for Football; p.16-17
Foods rich in protein are important for building and repairing your muscles. A balanced diet will usually supply you with enough protein. Integrate beans, legumes, cereals, lean meats, fish and dairy foods. These food choices ensure that you pick up all necessary vitamins and minerals and help you to recover in between your training sessions.
It is less about how much, but when eating protein: Adaptations to training come about because of changes in the muscle. If you fail to eat protein around training time, this may lead to less-than-optimal training gains. Nutrition for Football; p.18-20
- Consensus Statement: Nutrition for football: the FIFA/F-MARC Consensus Conference.
- Journal of Sports Sciences 2006;24(7):663-664; and other articles of the supplement “Nutrition and football”.