Match day diet plan for a footballer
A professional footballer’s diet will be strict throughout the week, as poor nutrition can have an impact on someone’s performance even if this occurred in the days leading up to a game.
It’s important to eat right come match day, as the choices made first thing in the morning or even in the hours following a gruelling fixture can have detrimental effects.
MaxiNutrition has prepared a diet and nutrition guide to make sure you are eating the right ingredients once the final whistle has blown.
You should always use breakfast to help you keep going and active for the match day ahead.
Porridge is often a popular choice, due to it being a low-GI cereal. However, look to mix it up by having a bowl of quinoa porridge or those made from grains with a lighter consistency to avoid having the same taste each and every morning. Whichever one you choose, serve with semi-skimmed or whole milk — the calcium contained in these will help maintain healthy bones.
An alternative to porridge altogether is eggs, which contain plenty of protein. Again, look to vary the type of egg-based meal you have at breakfast. Try your eggs in a wholemeal wrap, for example, or served on some rye bread.
Whatever you do, avoid eating a heavy breakfast as it is likely you will feel bloated afterwards. Fibre can also take a while to digest, so you could try to minimise consumption of this at breakfast.
Always try to eat something for breakfast, regardless of your appetite. A banana and Promax shake can provide a convenient boost of carbs and protein to keep you going for what the day brings.
Before we start, if you are involved in a match that takes place around midday, skip this section and continue the guide from the pre-match advice.
For those playing in a match getting underway at around the traditional 3pm kick-off, aim to only have a light meal come lunch.
This meal could include a low-GI carbohydrate — wholewheat pasta, for example. Complete the meal with some carrots, leafy greens and peppers.
Plenty of water should be consumed throughout lunch too, as just a two per cent loss in body weight as a result of sweating will impact on both your mental and physical performance for the worse.
You’re now in the changing room and can hear the crowd eagerly anticipating the next 90 minutes of action.
Reduce the risk of feeling thirsty once you’re on the pitch by drinking a good amount of water at this point — as mentioned in the lunch section, your mental and physical performance can be negatively affected if your body weight is reduced by as little as two per cent due to sweat.
You’ve been out on the pitch for 45 minutes —in the changing room you’ll need to refresh yourself before you go back on the pitch. We advise two options.
- Carbohydrate gels like MaxiNutrition FuelMax Gels
- Drink water or a small amount of diluted fruit juice made up of 50 per cent juice, 50 per cent water and just a pinch of sea salt.
Straight after the match
Once your time on the pitch draws to a close, your immediate concern should be looking after your muscles to ensure you can train at an adequate level in the days ahead.
With this in mind, drinks containing antioxidants, carbohydrates and protein is highly recommended, such as Promax milk drink combined with some fruit.
You’re away from the football ground at this point and ready for your final meal of the day. There are loads of great options available, though we would urge you to look towards sushi or turkey-based chilli-con carne as a source of protein.
Salmon sushi helps to deliver high quality food rich in protein, omega 3 and vitamin D. Meanwhile the kidney beans and mince — low-fat being our advised choice — provides proteins to the body post-exercise.