As football players, we spend hours in the weight room only to be frustrated by lack of results both in the gym as well as on the field. In order to truly maximise our off-season football programme, we focus equally on training and nutrition.
When it comes to our nutrition, there is unequivocally no one-size-fits-all nutrition plan. Our nutritional needs vary based not just on the player but also on the position that we play. Nutrition plans need to be individualised for each player based on their weight, height, body fat percentage as well as position on the field.
One thing all nutrition plans have in common is consistency. Choosing high-quality foods and being consistent with a diet year-round provides a solid foundation that helps us to perform at our highest potential.
Pump Up Protein
We have to eat some protein at every single meal. Most people consume a lot of protein for dinner and not much in the morning. The truth is that to build and repair muscle and keep us full throughout the day, we should aim to eat a handful of protein with each meal. More protein doesn’t give better results; however, less can slow your gains.
Begin Every Day With 2 Cups Of Water
We always drink two cups of water as soon as we wake up and before eating anything or having coffee or tea.
At Hull Football Club, it’s a rule. We NEVER miss breakfast! FueLling your body in the morning (after those two cups of water that we mentioned above) prepares you for the day – physically as well as mentally. We look for foods that combine protein, some whole grains and veggie or fruit. Something that we adore is Greek yoghurt, berries and some granola.
Don’t Forget Your Fats
Football players also need fat, however the good kind. Too much fat (usually the saturated type) can put us at risk for increased fat mass. This only serves to slow us down and kill our performance goals – something that we don’t want at all.
Too little fat may affect nutrient absorption and ultimately have a negative impact on performance as well, so everything in is the name of the game here. Not only is fat calorie-dense (in other words, that a little goes a long way), but it keeps us satisfied meal to meal.
We include between one and two servings of fat in meals in the form of fatty fish, nuts as well as nut butters (look at both for some variety), seeds, meat, dairy, avocado as well as olive oil.
We recommend that you play games for real money and focus on:
- Monounsaturated Fats, which are in olives and olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts (pistachios, macadamia, almonds, cashews) in addition to sunflower seeds.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (which are also known as polyunsaturated fats) which are in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, halibut, trout), walnuts, flax as well as chia seeds
Make sure that you limit:
Full-fat dairy; butter; palm oil; fried foods; fatty cuts of beef, pork and chicken; margarine; very creamy foods (for example, salad dressings and mayonnaise) as well as anything made with partially hydrogenated oil