A Healthy Diet

Because playing football is a physically demanding activity, it is essential that you eat a healthy, balanced diet at all times. This will help you get the best results out of both your practice and your actual matches by preventing injury and keeping energy levels high. Where matches are concerned, there are a number of things to pay particular attention to, and the best thing to do is take advice from professional footballers themselves. Gone are the days when they would eat heart English breakfasts before a match – now a footballer’s diet is a strict one.

For example, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, is notorious for his scientific approach to the diets of his team. He argues that it is inadvisable for any footballer to have a high intake of junk food, sugar and dairy products. Most important, he says, are foods like vegetables, chicken and fish. There are also other things you might like to try to boost your gameplay such as eating potatoes on the day of the match (a recommendation from scientists in France). Apparently potatoes are brilliant for footballers as they contain substances called glucides, which deliver a steady flow of energy to the muscles.

Also, it may be obvious but many people forget that one of the simplest and best things you can do to improve your gameplay is to drink plenty of water. Apparently due to all that strenuous exercise footballers can lose up to seven pints of fluid during a match. Dehydration is hence one of the main problems which can have a negative effect on your performance.

Finally, remember that whilst a post-match pint or two in celebration is tempting and even traditional, it is a very bad idea as it makes your body less likely to recover from injury and also makes slows down the rehydration process.

Our guide to a Fitness Regime is now available – A Healthy Diet & Keeping Fit will improve your game no end and there is another page on the foods and science behind a good training diet.