Football and nutrition – BirBes

Diet is one of the most important factors influencing athlete performance. The foods we choose in the competition affect how well the player plays and will play. Every player is different and there is no one diet that will always meet the needs of all players. Good nutrition can help support vigorous exercise while reducing the risk of illness or injury. The right amount of energy is important to stay healthy and perform well. If too much energy is consumed, body fat increases; If too little is taken, body fat decreases, performance decreases, injuries increase and lead to illness.

Energy requirements
The food we eat and the fluids we drink influence the body’s energy stores and meet the body’s immediate energy needs. Energy stores play a number of important roles in relation to exercise performance, including: regulating body fat and muscle mass, and providing fuel for exercise (e.g. carbohydrate stores in muscles and liver).

The energy required for training and competition must be added to the energy required for normal daily activities. The amount of food a player needs depends largely on their total energy needs, and there is no simple formula to estimate it. Energy requirements depend not only on training and racing, but also on activities outside of the game. The energy requirement is lower during the off-season or during periods of inactivity when a player is injured and the players have to adjust their food intake accordingly.

body fat
There is a lifelong balance between a person’s body fat stores, energy intake, and energy expenditure. Fat is the body’s greatest store of energy and an effective way to store excess energy when it is needed. A player performs best when the amount of body fat is within his optimal range. If the body fat stores become too low, it poses a health risk. Excess body fat is also risky, if the body fat becomes too high, the player has to carry unnecessary extra weight and becomes slower.

Carbohydrates are important fuel for exercise, but the body can only store enough for a day of hard exercise. Therefore, the player’s daily diet should contain enough carbohydrates to support their exercise regimen and speed up the recovery of muscle glycogen stores between workouts. Insufficient carbohydrate intake leads to early fatigue.

What should be the goals for carbohydrate intake?
For immediate recovery (0-4 hours) immediately after training, the player must consume approx. 1 g / kg of carbohydrates per day and consume them at regular intervals. Carbohydrate intake for daily recovery in a medium / low intensity workout It should be 5-7 g / kg. It should be 7-10 g / kg / day for moderate endurance training (like in pre-season training) or to fill up the tanks before a game.

Protein is considered to be an important nutrient for the success of all athletes. Amino acids derived from proteins are the building blocks for the production of new tissue, including muscles, and for repairing damaged tissue. They are also the building blocks for hormones and enzymes that regulate metabolism and other body functions. Protein is a minor source of energy for muscles during exercise. Some studies have shown that endurance and endurance training can increase the daily protein requirement to a maximum of 1.2-1.6 g per kg of body weight. This value is 50-100% higher than the recommended 0.8 g / kg protein for a sedentary (without physical activity) person.

Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Hard training and games put a heavy strain on the body, but good nutrition can reduce the risk of injury. A sufficient supply of energy, protein, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, selenium, sodium, zinc and vitamins A, C, E, B6 and B12 are particularly important for health and performance. The best way to get these vitamins and minerals is through a varied diet based on high-content foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, lean meat, fish, dairy products and unsaturated fatty acids. If food intake is insufficient, a qualified athlete may take nutritional supplements after consulting a nutritionist.

How do you prepare for the competition?
Carbohydrates are the most important energy-providing nutrient that needs to be optimized in the days leading up to the day of competition. Attention should also be paid to optimizing (optimizing) the water and salt content of the body. 2-4 days before a competition, however, the player’s requirement for protein, fat and other nutrients is usually not above the recommended values ​​for regular to medium training. Matchday nutrition is all about performance. Players who train intensely and compete can benefit from the carbohydrate store a few days before the game. By reducing the training intensity and duration, the intake of large amounts of carbohydrates (8-10 g / kg) leads to very high levels of muscle glycogen within 2-3 days. During intense competition, players should consume foods rich in carbohydrates to ensure a total carbohydrate intake of 1-4 g / kg for 6 hours prior to training. The biggest mistake players can make is keeping very little carbohydrates 1-6 hours before training (

How should the fluid intake be before the competition?
Players should drink enough fluids with meals the day before the game to ensure they are well hydrated on the morning of the game. All recommendations should be adjusted based on factors that influence fluid requirements, such as body size and environmental conditions. In hot weather, players should not be too exposed to outside temperatures in the hours before the start of the game. Before starting the game, approx. 500 ml of liquid should be absorbed over a period of 60-90 minutes.

Food supplements and sports nutrition
Protein supplements, high protein bars and amino acid supplements are some of the best-selling sports nutrition products. Although adequate protein intake is necessary for muscle growth and repair, these protein needs are easily met through daily diet and additional protein is rarely needed. Protein-carbohydrate supplements can play a role as part of a post-exercise recovery plan.

Alcohol consumption is often closely related to exercise. In addition to providing a source of energy, alcohol has metabolic, cardiovascular, thermoregulatory, and neuromuscular effects that can affect exercise performance. The UK Department of Health recommends that adult men should not consume 3-4 units of alcohol per day and women should not consume more than 2-3 units per day. (1 unit of alcohol = 8 grams of alcohol)

Fédération Internationale de Football Association member associations and development. (2006). FOOTBALL FOOD. Sports Science Journal.

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