How to fuel your game - Supercharge your 90 minutes

FUEL-YOUR-GAME

Football is a high-intensity sport which requires some pretty serious endurance to perform at your best for the full 90 minutes. Statistics show a strong correlation between fatigue towards the end of a match, a reduction in performance and an increase in the number of mistakes made. Sports Nutrition can really help improve your Football Game.

Did you know an average a football player covers between 10-12 km per game? Whilst continuously changing pace and direction, this puts a lot of demand on the body.

What you feed your body with is key to reducing this fatigue, up your game and reduce the number of mistakes you make on the pitch - So save the pints for afterwards!

What should I eat and why?

Your main focus should be on three things: 

  1. Energy Intake - In the form of Carbohydrate (Not just pies and pasta)
  2. Hydration LevelsElectrolytes, Other Vitamins & Minerals (No not beer either, sorry)
  3. Proteins - Such as Meats, Fish, Beans, Eggs etc.

Why do I need Carbohydrates (Energy)?

The body needs fuel, just like a car. Both how much fuel and the quality of fuel impact how well a car runs, as is with the Human body.

Your body metabolises Carbohydrate (burns fuel) into energy via various different pathways. The most simple and well-know carbohydrate, Glucose, is broken down via Glycolysis (Burnt fuel) and turned into more "direct" source of Energy for the muscles which can be used very easily. However, you can only absorb around 60g of Carbohydrate per hour.

So to make up for this, your body also stores broken down carbohydrate such as Glucose, when it isn't needed, in the form of Glycogen (your fuel tank) to control the release of energy. You can maximise your potential energy stores (Fuel tank) by building up the amount of Glycogen stored in your body. You can do this with your diet although the body can only store a limited amount.

The best way to maximise your Energy Stores throughout your 90 minute game is to fuel your body with a combination of your readily available Stored Energy (Glycogen) topped up with other instant energy sources.

You can read a bit more about Carbohydrates here. 

Why do I need Proteins?

Every time you exercise muscle tissue is damaged and the extent of damage depends on the intensity and duration. This is actually the first key part of your adaptation to training. The second part occurs when your muscles begin to repair and rebuild, into leaner, faster and even stronger muscles.

Protein is broken down into Amino acids by the body, which are important in facilitating the repair and rebuilding of muscle fibres after exercise. More here.

1. Before match day

Topping up our Glycogen "Fuel Tank" takes time, so it's important to start fueling early on.

Timing:
For the classic 3pm Saturday Kick-off, start increasing your Carbohydrate intake from the Thrusday evening or Friday Morning.

Fuel:
A really simple way to eat smart before your event is to divide your plate into thirds. 1/3 Carbs, Protein & Veg. If you're going to be working for a longer period of time, up your carbohydrate intake!You can get some extra protein from our delicious KMC PRO MIX here.

Stay clear of any new or risky foods, particularly spiced. It's also a good idea to avoid too much fibre. Excess fibre can slow down your digestive system and affect your performance.

Top-Tip: You can measure how well hydrated you are from the colour of your urine! You should aim for a light straw colour and if you're passing fluids fast, increase your electrolytes intake. Read more about electrolytes and follow our urine chart here.
By staying well hydrated throughout the day it means you have less to worry about the next morning, it's easy to become dehydrated over night. More about the important of Electrolytes here.

2. Pre-match (on the day)

Time to top-up on those energy stores you've worked hard to build up!

Timing
Ideally, you should be eating regularly throughout the day with a good meal 2-3 hours before the game. You don't want your stomach to feel overly full when you're mid-match so snacking helps reduce any overloading.

Fuel:
A well balanced meal with some Carbohydrate and Proteins. Such as White pasta with Tuna, Chicken and salad. Nothing too heavy.
Snacking closer to the game (1-2 hours) should include simple sugars such as the KMC Natural NRG Superfood Bar.

3. Before Kick-off

There's still time to top-up on those energy stores and hydrate in the form of something light and easily digested!

Timing:
Within a the 1 hour period before kick-off, before, during or after warm up it's entirely personal preference.

Fuel:
Caffeine is scientifically to improve both muscular endurance and focus. It takes roughly 1 hour to peak in the bloodstream. So taking a KMC NRG GEL+ Caffeine Energy Gel within 1 hour of the game is a great way of doing this and adding 27g of Dual Carbohydrate.
Staying Hydrated is key, lack of hydration leads to reduced performance and focus. Add one serve of KMC ISO MIX to a 500ml bottle of water for an additional 34g of Carbohydrate, 4 essential electrolytes and a refreshing light drink to get you going.

4. During the game

A difficult time to try and manage any fuel consumption but the easiest way to stay on top is keeping your bottle pre-filled with KMC ISO MIX Electrolyte & Energy Mix and taking a drink each time the bottle cage is available.

5. Half time

A perfect opportunity to get on top of Carbohydrate, fluids and electrolytes.

Timing:
As soon as half time begins to avoid any discomfort when starting the second half.

Fuel:
Energy gels provide instant & long-lasting energy. KMC NRG GEL Provides a Dual Carbohydrate source with Electrolytes & B Vitamins whilst being gentle on the stomach. One Energy gel contains 27g of Carbohydrate. If you feel in need of another caffeine kick take a KMC NRG GEL+ Caffeine Energy Gel.
Stay on top of your hydration, refill your 500ml bottle with one serve of KMC ISO MIX ready for the second half.

6. Post-match

Post race, it's really important to focus on your recovery and Nutrition is arguably one of the most important parts of recovering after a hard effort.

Timing:
The sooner you refuel the better. Take lean protein on within a 25 minute window for the most benefit and eat a good meal consisting of Carbs and Protein within 2 hours.
You should be consuming between 1.5-2g of protei per Kg of body mass, per day, Read more about "Why Protein is key to Recovery" here.

Fuel:
At least 20g of quality Protein and fast acting Carbohydrates. You'll need to replenish Carbohydrate (Glycogen) stores, rebuild and encourage the maintenance of lean muscle mass with Protein, and re-hydrate with Electrolytes.
KMC PRO MIX Protein Powder Mix is a great option for a combination of 21g Whey Protein and Carbohydrate.


Our Match Day Selection Summarised:

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Race Day Nutrition Pt. 4 - Post-race Recovery

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Thursday, 09 December 2021

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