I often get asked about the type of food a footballer should be eating
WHEN SHOULD I EAT?
It is important to ensure that you eat adequate carbohydrate and plenty of fluid in the week before your competition.
The meal eaten before should be high in carbohydrate, to help top up your muscle glycogen stores which provide an important source of fuel for your activity.
A general guide is to have a meal 3-4 hours before competition and/or a lighter snack about 1-2 hours prior to your event.
It is advised that you experiment at training to find the timing that best suits you. Practice this before your competition.
WHAT SHOULD I EAT?
Foods should be; high in carbohydrate, low in fat and moderate in fibre to assist in easy digestion, and be food and drinks you enjoy.
The following foods are suitable to eat 3-4 hours before exercise
Crumpets or toast with jam or honey
Baked beans on toast
Breakfast cereal with low fat milk and fruit
Fruit salad with fruit flavored yoghurt
Sandwich with cheese/meat filling and piece of fruit
Pasta or rice with low fat tomato based sauce
Jacket potato with creamed corn and cottage cheese
Pancakes with maple syrup or honey
The following snacks are suitable to eat 1-2 hours before exercise
Liquid meal supplement
Milk shake or fruit smoothie
Cereal/muesli or sports bars
Fruit and/ or fruit flavored yoghurt
The following snacks are suitable to eat < 1 hour before exercise
If you suffer from pre-event nerves or can’t compete with a full stomach, try having nutritious drinks (e.g. Low fat smoothie) or liquid meal supplements, alternatively eat early and top up with drinks and by nibbling slowly on small snacks (bars, fruit etc) closer to the event.