Bananas: pre-game boost
“Nutrients in bananas benefit our heart, muscles, nerves, kidneys and skeleton,” says Dr Stewart Laing, sports and exercise physiology consultant. “They’re ideal before a game because they have a high proportion of carbohydrate, which can be converted into energy.”
More after the break
Raisins: large energy source
“Fruits are always better fresh and ripe. However, putting them into the context of providing energy and nutrients before a game of football, then sometimes it’s best to have a mixture of fresh and dried fruit,” says Laing. “Raisins, blackcurrants, figs and sultanas will never fail to provide a large source of energy from natural sugars.”
Apricots: lung nourishers
“Packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E, potassium, iron and beta-carotene, apricots are an ideal pre-match snack because they protect our heart, nourish our lungs, stop a cough and are easily digestible. For a higher energy supply from apricots, you should eat them dried.”
Blueberries: immunity ahoy!
Blueberries are great pre-match meals for aiding the immune system, often compromised through exercise. “These antioxidants can neutralise the free radicals produced during metabolism and protect the body against the damaging effects of these free radicals,” says Laing.
Apple : smooth running
“An important source of dietary flavonoids, the high proportion of fibre found in apples replenishes insufficient fibre intake of our body,” says Laing. “The catechins and quercetin flavonoid antioxidants found in apples can protect a footballer’s lungs, ensuring that their engine runs smoothly.”
Strawberries: fatigue killer
“Their nitrate content may help to result in a lower oxygen demand during exercise – hence less fatigue,” says Ruth McKean, nutritionist with SportScotland. “Mix grapes with these too, since they’re also a good source of nitrate.” So now you know...
Information provided by Dr Stewart Laing. For more from Dr Laing visit performancesportservices.com