If you’re reading this the chances are you love the game and spend all week looking forward to match day. It’s the day you can put all your training and preparation into practice, but most importantly it’s the most enjoyable day of a footballer’s week.
So when you make it to Saturday, or whichever day your team plays, you don’t want to waste it and have to wait another week to put things right. You want to give yourself the best chance of playing well and that starts when you wake up on the morning of matchday and decide what to eat.
Nutrition is obviously important in general if you want to perform to your best but paying particular attention to it on matchday can be the difference between a good, energetic performance and a poor, tired one.
Here we take a look at pre-match and post-match nutrition to to make sure you make the most of matchday!
What To Eat On Match Day
Carbohydrates are key for energy throughout matchday, especially at breakfast time.
Assuming your game kicks off in the afternoon, a good breakfast consists of a bowl of porridge/oatmeal with fruit (e.g. banana or blueberries) and/or nuts added to it. Hydration is also important so a glass of water or fruit juice is a good start too.
If you have an earlier kick-off, you can have a little more for breakfast – as well as the porridge you could add scrambled eggs with wholegrain toast.
Your next meal will depend on your kick-off time.
For an early kick-off you can eat one hour before your game starts but don’t consume anything substantial. Things like cereal bars, bananas or oatcakes are good options here – and remember water for hydration.
For an afternoon kick-off you can eat again around three hours before your game starts. You’re aiming to get carbohydrates with a small amount of protein here so a baked potato with tuna or brown pasta with chicken and low fat sauce would be smart choices.
DURING THE MATCH
Immediately before the game and during it you can focus on drinking water and isotonic sports drinks which will keep you hydrated.
For an extra boost at half-time you can consume energy gels, jaffa cakes or cereal bars and again be sure to take plenty of fluids on board.
Your nutrition up to this point should have kept you well fuelled for your game, but you’re not done yet.
You now need to think about recovery, so within an hour of coming off the pitch it’s a good idea to get some protein into your system.
Try a whey protein smoothie or a flavoured milk drink for this purpose and remember to keep drinking plenty of water to rehydrate.