Athletes of all sports now perform at elite levels and some of this is down to the amount of money and time committed to researching the best ways of fuelling their bodies. Football is no different.
A healthy diet should be followed by everybody, but is even more essential for athletes, as the British Nutrition Foundation explains.
Footballers benefit from a healthy diet due to the large amounts of energy used while playing, the need for mental alertness for a long period of time and being able to recover quickly to be able to train regularly.
Diets can be tailored for specific activities and sports. Football training drill videos on the internet will be able to demonstrate short, sharp sprints or longer distance running, and advanced preparation can be done. These types of football training drill videos are available at Sportplan.
The main food groups to tailor diets around, regardless of sport or activity, are:
Protein is essential for muscle recovery and forms one of the main three macros that a balanced diet requires. Giving muscles the essential nutrients and time to recover helps them to become stronger, allowing for higher performance.
Foods containing protein include chicken, fish, eggs, spinach and quinoa.
People hear the word ‘fat’ and automatically think of processed and unhealthy foods, but fats are essential to a diet. Good fats help with recovery, reduce inflammation in joints and can even reduce the risk of heart disease.
Of course, it matters what fats are being consumed and how much, but an example of a good fat is Omega 3, found in oily fish, broccoli and walnuts, to name a few.
Again, this is another word banned in the fad diets that have been produced over the years, but carbohydrates give the body its energy to be able to perform at high levels. They should still be consumed in moderation, and foods like quinoa, brown pasta, brown rice, potatoes or oats are a great source of carbohydrates and should be consumed daily.
A typical menu
Breakfast: porridge oats, 1 handful of blueberries, 2 boiled eggs.
Snack: water-based protein shake, 1 apple.
Lunch: chicken breast, leafy green salad, quinoa.
Pre-training: 1 banana, 1 pear.
Post-training: milk-based protein shake, handful of walnuts.
Dinner: mackerel, broccoli, potatoes.