Are you looking for nutrition tips for football players? All athletes need to look after their bodies and make sure that they are at their optimal condition for the exertion that their chosen sport demands of them. But football requires a specific diet and lifestyle because of the toll the game heaps upon the player’s body.
Specialist nutritionists have been an essential part of professional football life for a long time now. The very best NFL players with Super Bowl wins under their belts will need to have the correct intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. But they can’t bulk up with pizzas and burgers – their diets need to be healthy.
Figure 1 The proper diet is just as important as training
So, what do football players eat? Read on to discover nutrition tips and how to eat like an NFL star.
Proteins for Muscle Build and Repair
It should be said straight away that these football nutrition tips for football players are general. Due to the differences in needs depending on position, all professional footballers will get individual diets and nutritional programs. But taking on protein is crucial for any player in the NFL.
Supplements are not necessarily needed as the protein required to build muscle – and repair after training and games – can primarily come from natural food. Skinless chicken, eggs, lean red meats, beans, and fish are crucial in bringing branched-chain amino acids into the body.
Figure 2 A balanced diet should be followed by every football player
Carbohydrates for Energy Fuel
It goes without saying that NFL stars need a lot of energy. But in a sport like football that requires players to stop and start, players need to take in carbohydrates in a specific way to ensure that they are treating their bodies correctly. Eating healthily is a must for any football player, and there are plenty of carb sources that can help daily. After all, being able to drive down the field and score a game-winning touchdown after three hours of grueling play requires the proper diet.
Whole grains – in the form of pasta, rice and bread are perfect fuel, although football players should avoid white bread as it contains refined carbohydrates that are not good. Instead, they should eat fresh fruit, dairy, and beans to increase carbohydrate intake to provide them with more energy. In addition, lots of green vegetables are a must – as well as starchy vegetables. For example, sweet potatoes are an exceptionally high source of vitamin A, which is vital for the immune system.
Fats – But the Right Kind!
As with everything in football, where you play on the field will determine what your diet should look like. But even those players in positions that require bulk should avoid whole fat dairy, fried foods, fatty cuts of meat, and very creamy foods. Too much fat will slow down players and adversely affect their performance on the field. That’s why players must know how to get the right kinds of fats.
The large numbers of calories in food rich in fats are perfect for football players that need to keep going for an entire game. You should focus on two main areas of fats – polyunsaturated fats found in salmon, tuna, seeds, and nuts. Monounsaturated fats, in olives and avocados, should also be in any NFL player’s dietary requirements.