Football is a game of strength, speed and skill; all of which can be affected by what, when and how much a player eats and drinks.
Here’s some simple nutritional tips and advice for health and performance-
These provide good fuel in preparation for high intensity physical activities such as football. Examples of carbohydrates are rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, cereals and fruit. Good carbohydrate intake can be achieved by snacking throughout the day, rather than three regular meals, and it is particularly beneficial to refuel just after a match to replenish the energy stored in the muscles.
Bananas, muesli bars, crumpets, bagels, low fat rice pudding, yogurts and fruit are some of the snacks that are high in carbohydrates but low in fat.
Taken in regular, small portions are essential for the regeneration of muscles and tissue. Examples include milk, chicken, eggs, fish and yoghurt.
Help keep you hydrated and it’s important to drink water frequently in small portions - even when you don’t feel like it – and especially during exercise!
Avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar or fibre before any form of exercise as these take longer to digest and may cause stomach discomfort or cause your blood sugar to drop quickly.
Example of a meal for a performance boost.
3-4 hours before play: 90g (the size of the palm of your hand) of grilled chicken breast or fish, 1 ½ piece of small Arabic bread or one cup (240 ml) of rice or pasta.
1 hour before: 1 banana or 2 apples or oranges.Post-football match
1 small Arabic bread with low-fat cheese, one 6-inch sandwich with turkey or one bowl of cereal with low-fat milk.