Putting the wrong fuel into a car will cause it to under perform or even cause it to be stranded roadside. The same is true for athletes in regards to the consumption of food and liquid. To perform at maximum efficiency, athletes should eat and drink certain types of food on match day and for that matter the days leading up to a match.
What to eat
Players should consume plenty of carbohydrates such as potatoes and pasta. You may also want to include some easily digestible protein sources such as fish and chicken. Be sure to mix in with some vegetables such as broccoli, which is rich in iron. These give your body the proper energy needed to go hard for ninety minutes. After training you need to replenish your glycogen levels within two to five hours of exercising. The best way to do this is eat plenty of carbohydrates. The body stores carbohydrate energy in the form of glycogen for when needed. Also, if possible, some Glutamine and Arginine vitamins throughout the season will give you some added nutrients. You can find those at your local Wal-Mart for $3.Three days prior to a match, players should start carbo-loading. This translates to eating meals that are about 75 percent complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are in cereals, grains, fruits, and vegetables. On match day, an easily digestible meal high in carbs and low in protein and fat should be eaten three to four hours before kick-off is scheduled. This will optimize the actual energy available to the player during match.
What to drink
It’s no secret players should drink lots of water, particularly before and after training sessions. Players can lose seven pints(or four liters) or more of water during a match and will need to rehydrate right away. In addition to water, isotonic drinks containing vital nutrients and sugars are particularly easy for the body to absorb. There are many varieties available at your local grocer but to simplify it this should consist of an equal measure in fruit juice and water.
What to avoid
You should avoid anything containing caffeine, such as tea and coffee, as well as alcohol and junk foods the night before your match. Don’t be a sucker for deep fried foods and potato chips either. Also, it’s probably best to not consume dairy products and fatty and high sugar foods.