Diet For Those Who Play Football: This Is How It Should Be

Athletes in general and footballers in particular must optimize their diet to improve sports performance. What nutritional strategies can be adopted to achieve this goal?
The diet for those who play football: this is how it should be

Team sports played on the pitch, such as soccer, are characterized by a series of intermittent, high-intensity exercises. In these sports, there may be different nutritional needs depending on the position occupied on the pitch. Let’s find out how the diet should be for those who play football.

Characteristics of football as a sport

The football pitch is rectangular and measures between 100 and 130 meters in length and 50 and 100 meters in width. In more specific cases, such as international matches, it must measure between 110 and 120 meters in length and between 70 and 80 meters in width.

To play, you need eleven players per team. These, depending on the position in which they play, take on certain game characteristics rather than others. For example, the type of play of a midfielder is not comparable to that of a goalkeeper.

The key principles of the diet for those who play football

Avoid weight gain

In sports like football, the year is divided into three periods : pre-season, season and rest period. It is in the latter that athletes tend to gain weight, mainly due to physical rest.

In these cases, it is important to control weight gain and focus pre-season training on recovering physical condition.

Food and culinary education

One of the main problems of athletes is the lack of time and lack of knowledge of the art of cooking. It is common for them to end up in a high-performance center for athletes after leaving the household.

In these centers, food is prepared in a general way and for everyone in the same way. Hence, once they leave the center, many athletes tend to turn to precooked foods and fast foods. What can be done to avoid it?

There are cooking techniques that are easy to learn, such as steaming or grilling. However, it is important that the club provide athletes with the tools to promote their learning.

Spaghetti pulled out of the pot
Carbohydrates are very important for anyone who plays football.

The importance of diet for those who play football

The diet for football players must be well planned to promote performance and recovery between training sessions. Furthermore, a good nutritional and hydration status reduces the risk of injury. This is true for all sports, not just football.

Types of training for those who play football

Training sessions must be adapted to the state of the football players. Therefore, most players train with a reduced load in the days after the game, to aid in recovery. The workload of the following days is high and decreases again for the next meeting.

From a nutritional point of view, the workouts are used to test strategies before the big day, the one in which the match will take place. The diet of the players must be adapted to the type of training.

If you intend to do strength training, you will not train like cardio. However, the diet for those who play football involves planning food regardless of the type of exercise to be performed.

Resistance training

For this type of training, a high contribution of carbohydrates is required, although the amount varies from one subject to another. However, a player who trains several times a week needs at least 5-8 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of weight per day.

Insufficient carbohydrate intake can cause fatigue during the week and affect performance on the pitch and therefore the game.

Strength training

This type of training can be approached in several ways. It can be performed in a weight room or even in the field using the drag and drop method or plyometric exercises. In those days, it is best to focus the diet on protein.

Hydration, essential for those who play football

Hydration must be one of the pillars of training. Good hydration prevents injuries and improves sports performance. In hot environments, it is important to regulate the quantity and type of replacement drink.

To choose one isotonic drink over another, it is necessary to consider the loss of fluids due to sweat, the intensity and duration of the exercise and the environment in which the training takes place.

Woman and man drink on a bridge
Taking care of hydration before, during and after sport is essential, regardless of the discipline chosen.

One of the usual mistakes is to only drink water when you are thirsty. To check if hydration is correct after a training session, you can perform the following experiment.

The athlete must weigh himself before and after physical exercise ; the difference in weight corresponds to the loss of water due to sweating. If that figure exceeds 2% of body weight, it means that hydration has not been enough. In other words, in a 75 kg subject, the observed difference cannot exceed 1.5 kg.

Ultimately, football and many other sports require diet planning, which is after all the “fuel” we offer our bodies. The best thing to do is to consult a nutritionist and not make any dietary changes without his or her consent.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button