Regardless of which football (soccer) team you support, we must all admire the players’ dedication to the sport – training daily, living a strict lifestyle and eating a regulated diet. This week Ape to Gentleman takes a look into the life of a professional footballers dietary guidelines and how to train like a pro.
We asked KX’s Matt Lovell, Performance Nutritionist to Tottenham Hotspur FC for this Top 5 Tips for eating like a footballer.
1. Clean Up
There’s always a few questionable snacks, sweets and chocolate (milk) which can creep into a footballers or anyone’s diet. The trick is to make sure this isn’t the daily afternoon snack after training and is reserved for a treat and only eaten 10% of the time.
2. Eat Your Greens
Men don’t eat enough greens and footballers tend not to get enough greens favouring pasta and chicken or meat over an abundance of broccoli. Green supply the body with essential nutrients unavailable from other foods and help keep the body alkaline. Grains and proteins are slightly acid forming in the body which may not be good for longer term health or performance.
3. Eat Fish
Eat fish and plenty of it. Take time to get fresh wild fish wherever possible and eat most days. The omega 3 fats are very commonly out of balance with the omega 6 fats and this can increase inflammation (not good) which means more aches and pains and is generally less optimal than a lower level of inflammation.
Increase protein at breakfast. Protein foods help keep the bodies muscles well nourished, supply important building blocks for immune and hormone function and slow down the release of sugar containing foods.
Most footballers eat the same amount most days. Why not eat less when you do less and more when you need to do more. This simple strategy helps keep footballers trim and performing at their maximum match after match.
Matt Lovell is currently a Performance Nutritionist to the RFU, UKA athletics, Tottenham Hotspur FC, London Irish Rugby Club and KX Club.