What to eat for your position

Different positions require different energy demands - Herbalife nutritionist Dana Ryan reveals the perfect foods for your area of the pitch

Goalkeeper
“The need for focus and concentration, coupled with explosive movements, agility and flexibility mean a keeper would benefit from a couple of specific supplements in their diet. Creatine – available in small quantities in foods like red meat – when taken as a powder supplement (3-5g a day) will aid your body’s phosphocreatine energy systems, helping to improve muscular strength and short-term power.  Also caffeine taken about 30 minutes before a match or training will help with mental focus.”

Defender
“Strength and power are very important across the back four and while natural food sources such as meat, cheese and eggs from a balanced diet are essential for muscle development, supplementing with additional protein (whey) will help these players. The mechanical load placed upon a defender’s body during football (tackling, heading and sprinting especially) means you need to consume additional protein to rebuild damaged muscle fibres.” Intake recommendations suggest around 1.4-1.6 g of protein per kilo of your body weight - so for a 75 kg player this would be 105-120g a day, spread out to include 25-30g in each meal."

More after the break

Midfielder
“Ample carbohydrates are needed for these players as they are constantly tapping into their glycogen stores. Fast-digesting, easily absorbed carbs from sports drinks that deliver high GI (glycaemic index) nutrients will help maintain energy levels – with an estimated 30-60g of carbs per hour being the optimal amount for footballers. BCAA (Branched-Chain amino acids) supplementation can also be helpful to help make sure damaged muscle fibres are repaired and strengthened. I recommend Herbalife H24 Rebuild Strength – a high protein recovery drink with added BCAA."

Forward
“Endurance and explosiveness is essential in this role. Consuming adequate low-GI  carbohydrates throughout the day will provide additional stamina, but these are slow-digesting carbs that drip-feed energy (porridge for breakfast and wholegrain pasta as part of a pre-match meal) along with daily creatine supplements for that burst of speed can help accomplish these goals.”

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