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Match-day nutrition

3-4 Hours Pre-Game:

Preparation for a game should start 3-4 hours before kick-off. If you’re playing away from home, you may need to carefully plan your pre-match meal. Relying on service stations to provide you with the necessary nutrients to fuel your performance is a bad idea.

Your main meal should be eaten 3-4 hours before the start of the game to allow time for digestion. This meal should comprise of complex carbohydrates and some protein. Excellent examples include:

This meal should be something you really enjoy eating and you have tried before a hard training session. Everyone digests foods at different rates so you need to make sure you don’t suffer from and gastrointestinal discomfort as a result of your meal choice.

During this time you should also drink some fluids to make sure you start the match in a hydrated state. Fruit squash, water, fruit teas and herbal teas are all good choices.

1-2 Hours Pre-Game:

If you’re getting hungry before the game, eat a small carbohydrate based snack. Good examples include fruit smoothies, cereal bars, bananas, tropical fruit and fruit bread. Avoid eating foods that are high in fibre as this can make you feel bloated during the game. Limit all fluid intake to around 500ml 1 hour before kick-off to ensure you have sufficient time to void any excess fluid.

During Game:

Consume 30g of liquid carbohydrates during warm up and again at half time. Make sure this is around 6-7% solution. That equates to approximately 500ml of a sports recovery drink. Gels, energy bars and ripe bananas are good choices to boost energy levels at half-time.

Immediately After Game:

Take on water or a carbohydrate electrolyte drink to cover your warm down. You should aim to drink around 500 ml of fluid immediately post match.

Post Match:

Within the first hour of recovery your goal is to consume some carbohydrate with some protein. To work out how much carbohydrate you need, multiply your body weight by 1.5 (example: 70 kg x 1.5 = 105g of carbohydrate). There is a limit to how much protein we can absorb in one meal so combine your carbohydrate intake with 40g protein.

Option 1: 2 Pieces of fruit of your choice + protein shake

Option 2: Trek or Eat Natural Bar + chocolate milk

Option 3: Peanut butter sandwiches