Alcohol acts a diuretic and may slow down the process of rehydration after the match. Despite what you may have heard about beer and carbohydrate-loading, alcoholic drinks are low in carbohydrate content and will not help replenish your muscle glycogen stores. If you are going to drink, ideally you should rehydrate and refuel after a match prior to indulging in 1-2 drinks MAXIMUM!
Whilst supplements will not make up for a poor diet, there are a few that, in some situations, have been proven to aid performance in team sports. Carbohydrate, creatine and caffeine are the primary ones. You should always seek advice from a nutritionist prior to using these supplements in your match day strategy.
Foods to avoid before a match include foods high in fat, fibre and protein. Fat takes a long time to digest, and fatty foods delay emptying of the stomach. Avoid foods such as pizza, burgers, chips, sausages, croissants, fry-ups, sausage rolls, which are typically high in fat. Fibre also delays stomach emptying, and it can cause stomach cramps if you eat too much before exercise. Protein takes a long time to digest, so eating a high-protein meal right before a game is not recommended. Choose easy to digest proteins such as chicken, fish and vegetable sources.
Eat your main meal 2-4 hours before the game. The exact time will come down to personal preference, volume and composition of the meal. If you are still hungry, eat a small carbohydrate based snack 60-90 minutes before you start the game. Things like cereal bars, bananas, yoghurts, fruit bread and crumpets work well during this time.