Pre-match winter warm-up meals

If the weather outside is frightful, one of these belly-warmers will get you through the game

Sweet and sour chicken noodles

What you’ll need:
Straight-to-wok medium noodles
Chicken breast, chopped
Olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
Mixed stir fry vegetables
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Stir fry the chicken pieces and veg with the sauces before adding noodles and serving. “It’s full of glycogen-boosting carbohydrates that will provide lasting energy during a game,” says sports nutritionist Rees Colling. “You’ve got good sources of protein to promote muscle tissue maintenance and repair muscle damage, plus it’s low in fat which will maximise carbohydrate storage.”

More after the break

Puréed winter vegetable soup

What you’ll need:
1-2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 leek, chopped
½ onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
14oz vegetable stock
Mix in a blender before heating on the hob. Not only will it lay down a layer of insulation for the game, as a liquid it’ll be easy to digest so won’t leave you feeling bloated before kick-off – so long as you don’t go dunking masses of bread in it. “Your body can easily absorb vegetable nutrients, without wasting energy breaking them down,” says Matt Lovell, sports nutritionist at Spurs.

Beef and vegetable stew

What you’ll need:
Lean beef chunks
1 onions
1 carrot
1 stick celery
1 cube beef stock 
Two slices of warm rye bread
1 glass of cherry juice (to drink)
Brown off the meat in a pan and add the onions, carrots and celery. Once all the vegetables have browned, add the beef stock with water and let it reduce. “The beef is high in protein and will help your muscles recover quicker,” says Bolton Wanderers nutritionist Mayur Ranchordas. “In addition to this, the rye bread will replace the muscle glycogen, while the vegetables and cherry juice contain phytochemicals and polyphenols, which will reduce any muscle soreness you may have.”

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