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Whether you are a professional footballer, you play Sunday League or you just love a kick about in the park with the kids, good nutrition can make a positive difference to both your match fitness and post-match recovery.
A footballer’s diet is key to how they train for a match, how they play on the day and the time it takes to recover from a game.
One of the easiest ways of breaking it down is to think of football as a workout split into three:
- Pre workout
- Intra workout
- Post workout
Popular natural pre workout ingredients include caffeine, vitamins and minerals, creatine monohydrate powder, amino acids and BCAA.
You might like to try Grenade Thermo Detonator Capsules, which contain a mix of natural caffeine, the essential amino acid phenylalanine and botanicals such as cayenne pepper and bitter orange powder.
If you are serious about upping your exercise regime, eating more meat and fish, or using a creatine supplement can help give you a new lease of life during your workout.
Optimum Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate is unflavoured and proven to increase performance during high interval training.
You can also try PE Nutrition Simply Creatine Powder, which contains 5g of vegetarian-quality-assured creatine per serving, optimised to increases physical performance in successive bursts of short-term, high intensity exercise. Perfect for that crucial 2 second burst of speed as you head towards the 6 yard box.
Intra workout amino acids are a good way to support your fitness goals - BCAA intra workout supplements get straight to work in your muscles, to help maintain and build muscle.
Try PE Nutrition Performance BCAA Powder Strawberry & Watermelon, an essential amino acid complex, which provides 5g of BCAAs per 6g serving, with an industry standard ratio of 2:1:1 complete with amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.
The body needs protein after a workout in order to maintain and grow muscle. Whey protein powders can simply be dissolved into milk or water, to make a post workout shake.
You can also try adding protein powders to baking recipes or blending with fruit, to make a post workout smoothie.
PE Nutrition Simply Whey is available in several different flavours including Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate. This whey protein powder is low calorie and ideal for supporting your muscles.
If it is weight loss that you are after, then try PhD Diet Whey Powder Belgian Chocolate.
Energy gels are a handy way of giving you a much needed energy before a game. And better still, you can chuck one in your boot bag to take 30 minutes before kick-off – simply rip off the tab and consume straight from the packet.
Sis energy gels are even available in a format specifically designed for footballers – the SiS Football Surge Gel Lime contains 22g of carbohydrate for energy and 200mg of caffeine per gel.
But be warned: Sis gels pack a punch – which is why they are only recommended for players over the age of 18 and should be limited to one per day.
It is usually recommended that you take a whey protein supplement 15-60 minutes after exercise. This period is known as the ‘anabolic window’, and considered to be the ideal time to get the most benefits from protein.
Following any intensive workout, it is essential to you keep yourself well hydrated, especially if you have sweated a lot or the weather is hot.
Phizz Apple & Blackcurrant Multivitamin & Hydration Effervescent come in apple and blackcurrant flavour (as well as orange) and are known as a ‘water multiplier’, which means that they help your body quickly absorb up to three times more water than just drinking water on its own.
They also contain 5 key electrolytes lost through sweat (sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium and calcium) plus 19 essential vitamins & minerals (Vitamins A, B, C, E + copper, zinc, biotin, folic acid & more).
These tablets are easy to carry in your kit bag, low in calories and suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. To take, simply drop two of these tablets into 300ml of water and drink.
Other options to keep your electrolytes in balance include Salt Stick Fastchews which allow you to replenish key minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium, which can be sweated out during intensive exercise.
Suitable for vegetarians, you can take two tablets at intervals of 15-30 minutes during physical activity for optimum effect.