“There’s no need to chow down on enormous bowls of pasta right before kick-off,” explains nutritionist Matt Lovell, who works with Tottenham and Manchester City. “You’re better off having a decent-sized lunch that you finish around 2pm. Go for slow-releasing carbohydrates like brown rice or quinoa, or you can mix fast-release carbs like white rice with vegetables, beans or peas.”
“Top up your fuel stores before you get on the five-a-side pitch with an easily digestible snack two to three hours before the game,” advises Lovell. “Go for something like porridge with honey and banana or lentils with grilled chicken breast. If you need something portable I’d recommend Ryvita with hummus or some fruit – an apple, grapes or peach would be ideal.”
“After the game your legs need help to recover,” says Lovell. “Protein is key – this aids muscle repair. A shake would be ideal, but you could opt for some oily fish and salad. You also want to get some anti-oxidants on board to help reduce inflammation. Blueberries, cherry juice and pecans will do just that.”
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