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  Beacon Hill's Top Tips for Player Diet, Nutrition and Hydration

Diet and nutrition
  • Encourage the players to make choices over their diet. Yes, they will want to eat what they enjoy but can we guide them to choose foods that will help them to be a better footballer?

  • A balanced diet is best: 60% carbohydrate, 15% protein, 25% fat is ideal for a footballer. Eat less foods with high salt, sugar content. High carbohydrate foods include pasta, cereals, vegetables, bread, fresh fruit, rice. It is good to eat carbohydrates before a match as the body uses these as the main source of energy.

  • Try to avoid a big meal less than 2 hours before a match or training.

  • Bananas, raisins and energy bars are an excellent slow release form of energy to be eaten about an hour before training or match.

  • Then just before kick-off players might want a source of quick release energy such as jelly babies or jaffa cakes (and again at half-time). Never chocolate! The fat content means the body struggles to break it down, it will just sit in the stomach during the game!

  • Some players, such as diabetics, will have their own specific diets.

  • Then after the action refuel with carbohydrates again.

  • For younger players proteins are important for growth.

  • Making sure players have drunk enough is vital to their performance and wellbeing.

  • In young players fluid loss can be very high. The brain needs fluids to operate, it is often poor decision making by players that are the first signs of dehydration. Water also controls body temperature.

  • Players should drink regularly and turn up to play already fully hydrated so drink lots prior to the training or match. Lots of small drinks are better than one big one. Put aside a bottle of their preferred drink. It could be water, squash, sports drinks, juice. Then let them drink it over a period of time. Make sure they have their drinks with them at training and matches.

  • Make sure the players rehydrate after exercise in the same way.

Merfyn Roberts. BHR Player Development Officer




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