Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

FIFA booklet on nutrition and football – eat correctly, perform well

For footballers who want to stay healthy and perform well while avoiding injury and using their full physical and tactical capabilities, there is a much healthier and more effective option than doping: eating and drinking correctly. This is stressed in a new FIFA booklet entitled "Nutrition for Football", which was compiled in layman's terms following a "Nutrition for football" consensus conference with international experts at FIFA headquarters in September 2005.

Every successful player needs an individual eating plan, which should, as far as possible, take into account his personal requirements, the intensity of training sessions, the season and his level of football. Players who take on board and follow a few key messages about eating and drinking correctly can make sure that over time, their bodies can adapt better to the demands of training.

Basically, players should have a balanced, varied diet that ensures that they consume sufficient quantities of iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, selenium, sodium, zinc and vitamins A, C, E, B6 and B12, which are all particularly important for health and performance. The best way to do this is to eat nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes, grains, lean meats, fish, dairy products and unsaturated oils. Fruit and vegetables should be consumed on a daily basis according to a "rainbow diet".

The booklet is not just aimed at professional players, but also at semi-professionals and amateurs as it lists specific recommendations regarding nutrition and hydration during training and competition. There is also information regarding the specific requirements of female and young players, as well as referees, who are often forgotten even though they need to be just as fit as the players under their control.

The booklet is rounded off with details of how to eat correctly when travelling and in hot and cold situations as well as at high levels in order to ensure that players do not suffer a drop in performance. The booklet also warns about the dangers of dietary supplements. Few of these products have scientific proof that they actually benefit footballers, while on the other hands, many such products contain prohibited substances that can lead to a positive doping test.

F-MARC is also publishing a scientific summary of the consensus conference in the highly-respected "Journal of Sports Sciences", which is aimed at medical experts and team and sports doctors in particular. This journal will also be part of the teaching material in the FIFA FUTURO III educational programme for more than 3,000 doctors worldwide.

The two publications are a reflection of F-MARC's work towards prevention and healthcare in all football protagonists. At the same time, F-MARC is contributing to the fight against doping by showing how to boost performance effectively and healthily. "The food and drink that players consume can have a major effect on their performances and they can help them to stay fit and healthy," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. "One of FIFA's objectives is to help all players reach their goals. This booklet is part of our commitment."

FIFA has been active in the sphere of sports medicine ever since the mid-1970s. F-MARC was founded in 1994 and its many research activities support world football's governing body in its ongoing fight against doping and injuries by highlighting the benefits of prevention.