Dairy Council Northern Ireland

Milk it for all it's worth

Food for football

Top tips

You need to eat and drink directly after training (try to do this within 30 mins). This will help recovery. If you don’t get a meal after training, then bring a carton of milk and a banana with you or a carton of milkshake, yogurt or smoothie would be good. 

Carbohydrate

Don’t have long gaps during the day without eating or drinking. Small snacks like yogurt, fruit, scones and pancakes are useful to replace carbohydrate which is the main fuel for your muscles when you’re playing football. 

Fruit & veg  

You need to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat to at least 5 portions per day. If you don’t like fruit then you will need to eat more vegetables. Eating these foods will help protect you from getting sick. If you are sick, you won’t be able to train or play properly and may lose your place to some one who is well! 

Fats

Some players are eating too many foods that are too high in fat (e.g. sausages and sausage rolls, chips, crisps, fries etc). These will not be used to fuel you during football and may slow you down or give you cramps as they take a long time to be digested. If you are going to have something then maybe grilled bacon in a bread roll with tomato and lettuce with a little tomato sauce would be a good alternative. 

Fluids

You should try to increase the amount that you drink every day. Aim for 50mls per kg of body weight. Water, diluted squash, diluted fruit juice, milk and sports drinks. If you drink a lot of sweet drinks clean and floss your teeth regularly, and using sugar–free gum may help to protect your teeth from acidic drinks. 

Muscle

If you are trying to gain muscle then you need to remember that skipping meals or missing breakfast will mean that you will not gain the muscle weight that you want. It is very important to eat small meals and snacks on a regular basis.

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