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 yogurt 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 says “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.” Aswell as food you also need to make sure you are well hydrated. Water is a good liquid to drink but Lucozade sport gives energy aswell 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.