Nutrition for Football

Body composition is very important for a football player. This means you should have a low percentage of body fat and good levels of muscle mass. To achieve this it is important to focus on human nutrition rather than “sports nutrition.”

Being lean is important as body fat needs to be oxygenated. Having high body fat means that you have a lower percentage of oxygen going to your heart, brain and muscles essentially diminishing your V02 max. Second, the more fat you have the lower your strength to body weight ratio is meaning you have less functional strength and speed on the pitch. Lastly, fat is not just an unsightly inert reservoir of energy that sits on your love handles.

Fat releases a number of chemicals that can affect your appetite; and create inflammation and insulin resistance. They release chemicals that clot your blood, increase your blood pressure and narrow your arteries and they convert male hormones to female hormones, which is not good if you are a man.

Good human nutrition encompasses eating regular meals, with good sources of protein, lots of vegetables and cutting out junk foods that are touted as “performance foods.”

Food provisions at breakfast

Eating breakfast is paramount for football players. A www.ufabet study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010 demonstrated that of over 4,000 UK secondary school children 32 percent did not eat breakfast and were more likely to be overweight and obese. The content of a healthy breakfast is debatable with the government, mass media and many sporting bodies promoting junk foods as healthy “sports nutrition”. The Nutrition for Football Conference held at FIFA House in Zurich in September 2005included common breakfast foods such as cereal with milk, flavoured yoghurt and fruit smoothies in its list of nutrient-rich carbohydrate foods.

The Australian institute of Sport also recommends foods such as crumpets with jam or honey, flavoured milk, baked beans on toast and breakfast cereals as healthy pre training breakfasts and snacks. These foods are indeed carbohydrate rich, however what seems to be completely missed is these foods are high in processed sugar, contain gluten, dairy and other common food intolerance’s and are generally poor providers of essential fats, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Better examples of healthy breakfasts include porridge, scrambled eggs on whole grain (preferably gluten free) toast, an omelette or some meat or fish with nuts and vegetables.