What do footballers eat and drink?

We’ve put all of our recipes, meal plans and hydration tips in one place so you can eat and drink like a footballer

Your parents are right; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you’re going to run around a football pitch, you need a good supply of quality carbohydrates, protein and vitamins and minerals in your system. Check out our comprehensive list of nutritious breakfasts so you can start the day on the right foot.

More after the break

Breakfast

Make breakfast more exciting

Breakfast of Champions

How to make a healthy full English breakfast

What do professional footballers eat for breakfast?

Jermaine Jenas’ perfect breakfast

7 best breakfasts for footballers

How many carbohydrates should you eat?

Lunch

Footballers have top chefs to make their meals for them and while we can’t cook your food for you, we can give you a host of recipes recommended by nutritionists working for top clubs. Below you’ll find quick, easy dishes you can serve up at home or put in your lunchbox.

 

7 healthy lunches for footballers

Lunch is served

4 easy to make super salads

10 football superfoods

Eat and get lean

Dinner

We don’t all feel like cooking after a hard day at work or school, but if you’ve got training or five-a-side at night, your performance will suffer if you don’t eat the right food. Don’t worry; we’ve done the hard work for you – here’s some delicious dinners that will ensure you cover every blade of grass.

 

How to make a healthy roast dinner

7 high-protein dinner recipes for football

Foods that help you get to sleep

The recipe for match fitness

5 foods to boost your performance

Pre-match

If your idea of a pre-match meal is the remainder of a Saturday night kebab, then you need to take a long hard look at our selection of nutritious pre-game meals. Pick one of them to eat three-and-a-half hours before kick off and you’ll be ready to hare round the pitch like a Duracell bunny.

 

Liverpool’s guide to pre-match meals

The ultimate matchday meals

How to eat for a game

Essential food for a Sunday League star

Five-minute big game meals

Eat like an athlete: Ultimate matchday nutrition

7 high-protein dinner recipes for football

Five-star fuel

Snacks

That pack of chocolate digestives being handed around the office may look tempting, but there are tasty, healthy alternatives you can eat that will halt your cravings between meals.  Our favourites are the sweet potato brownies – click below to find them…

 

7 best snacks for footballers

6 fruits you should eat for football

5 essential foods for football

Post-match

To optimise post-match recovery, you need to eat quality carbohydrates, protein and liquid within 30 minutes of full-time. But what exactly should you eat? We asked our experts for advice on meals, supplements and drinks so you’ll recover as quickly as possible, ready for your next game.   

 

Post-match recovery starts here

Post-match nutrition guide

Make the ultimate post-match kebab

Why post-match beer can aid recovery

Boost recovery with these foods

Drink

Football is thirsty work, and if you don’t stay hydrated you’ll soon find yourself seizing up and running out of gas. We’ve run the rule over sports drinks; tea, coffee, water and even alcohol to see what affect a variety of fluids will have on your performance…

 

6 best ways to avoid a hangover

Sports drinks: The facts

Combat dehydration

Cocktails for success

The do’s and don’ts of hydration

Hydration is key

Players' diets

Not all footballers eat pasta and rice. We’ve spoken to players from a wide range of countries to see what nutritional tips we can take from different cultures. Like the sound of Lucas Moura’s Brazilian buffet? Or how about Simon Mignolet’s Belgian palette? Get scrolling and see what takes your fancy…

 

Diego Forlan: My 24-hour food diary

No carbs, no problem

Lucas Moura’s Brazilian buffet

Mikel Arteta’s Spanish diet

Jordi Alba: Fuel your engine

Mario Gotze’s energy-boosting diet

Simon Mignolet’s big game nutrition plan

Why is it important to stay hydrated?

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