5 essential foods for football

Optimise your performance by feasting on these must-eat foods, says Arsenal nutritionist, James Collins


Typically all athletes’ diets, especially footballers’, are low in OMEGA 3. This can be extremely important for muscle recovery and its anti-inflammatory effects.


They help to provide copper, which is important for immune function. They also contain magnesium, which can help with cramping. It’s an important thing to include each day. Too often, especially in the summer, players’ diets can be low in this.

More after the break


It’s important to get vegetables and fruit, which are high in anti-oxidants, on board everyday. It’s an easy thing to add to your diet each day by having cherry or blueberry juice. Anti-oxidants are extremely important for clearing the muscles and getting rid of free radicals, which will allow you to go into training feeling fresher.


Adding a low fat yoghurt to your diet is extremely important for providing calcium for bone health. At Arsenal we really structure the players’ protein feedings over the day because if they have a hard session their muscles are still adapting 24 hours afterwards. It’s no good just getting the recovery feeding right, you need to consider what you’re having before bed as most of this adaptation is happening over night.


A different grain which is high in amino acids, has a good carbohydrate content and is something a player could have as a pre-match meal instead of pasta, rice or bread.

James Collins was talking at the Science + Football Conference. For more information visit www.scienceandfootball.com.

For more nutrition tips see:
The ultimate half-time snack
Eat for every occasion
10 Football Superfoods
Dried and tested to increase speed
Get the babies on board
Eat for energy and intensity
The ultimate matchday meals

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