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What should you eat before a football game ?

Monday 5th September 2016
Hours spent practising techniques and improving your skills are pointless if you turn up to a football match lacking energy due to what you have eaten. “You should pay as much attention to your nutrition as you do to every other aspect of your game," says sports nutritionist Gavin Allinson. The pre-match meal is the arguably the most important factor when it comes to preparing for a match. So, what should we eat before the game?

Once you wake up in the morning eat as soon as possible. "Avoid wheat and wheat-based products because they can have the tendency to cause bloating," advises Matt Lovell. This is the same for all fibre based foods as they are very heavy on the stomach. You don't want a stitch when competing for 90 minutes, do you? Try eating scrambled eggs or a yoghurt as they all involve a balanced amount of protein, fat and carbs. This will play a huge part in performing well in your match.

As you're done with breakfast, lunch is next on the agenda. You need a lot of carbohydrates and protein as they provide you with a source of energy resulting you in being ready for the big game. Steven Gerrard said “My diet is heavy with protein and carbohydrates on a match day to provide energy. That means lots of chicken, fish and eggs for the protein and pasta, rice and potatoes for the carbs.” As well as the food you also need to make sure you are well hydrated. Water is a good liquid to drink but Lucozade sport gives energy as well as electrolytes preparing you even better for the match.
Just before the game, make sure you have some fruits that give you energy through natural sugars and a small amount of fibre which helps absorb sugars into the bloodstream giving, even more, energy for the 90 minutes ahead. Too many sugary sports drinks can lead to you being lethargic on the pitch so leave them out until after the game has finished.

After the game it is important to eat once again, don't eat straight away. Leave around 1-2 hours before you have your next meal. The sooner you get fuel inside you, the quicker your body can repair. After a tough game, your body is going to be needing three main sources of vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates, protein and fluids are the ones you should be looking to include. There are a lot of options that you can use in regards to eating after finishing your game. The best suggestion, however, is that you have a balanced meal which is full of the vitamins and minerals we talked about before.

The process may take some time getting used to. However, after a while, the results start to show. If you follow a diet before a game, then your body starts to function efficiently when it knows you are about to play a 90-minute game. Professional footballers have different meal plans for every day throughout the week. But, if you are just a Sunday League footballer then this little plan could be the one for you.
 
Jamie Britt
Liverpool FC fan, official club member. Liverpool and the Premier League is my thing but I take a serious interest in European as well as lower league football ! Still waiting for Liverpool to win a league title.....!!

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