Feed the Machine: 15 Healthy Eating Tips for Football Players | STACK

Feed the Machine: 15 Healthy Eating Tips for Football Players

June 5, 2013 | Robert Pomazak

Must See Football Videos

Many football players spend hours in the weight room only to be frustrated by lack of results both in the gym and on the field.

In order to truly maximize your off-season football program, you must focus equally on training and nutrition.

When you think of food, fuel may be the last thing that comes to mind. Yet what you put in your mouth has an enormous effect on your energy level. Your body is your machine, and the food you eat is the fuel that runs your machine.

What is the right kind of fuel you need to provide your body with the nutrients it needs for the growth, support and recovery of your muscles?

Here are 15 key nutritional notes that you can practice to be at your best.

  1. Eat breakfast daily before 9 a.m. Your body is a furnace and should be loaded with fuel to burn throughout the day.
  2. Eat a minimum of three meals and 2-3 snacks per day.
  3. Don't go more than 3 or 4 hours without eating.
  4. Consume post-workout meals within two hours of activity.
  5. Plan meals ahead. This will allow you to select healthy snack items and avoid being stuck without food.
  6. Target real, whole and unprocessed food items.
  7. Eliminate processed meats, fried foods, sugary snacks and heat-and-serve food items.
  8. Make vegetables, fruits and oats your primary sources of carbohydrates.
  9. Restrict your intake of starches and grains to post-workout meals only.
  10. Make water your beverage of choice. Studies show performance decreases occur with as little as two percent dehydration of body weight.
  11. Monitor your pre-and post-workout weight, and drink 16 ounces of water for every pound lost
  12. Eat prior to and immediately after training.
  13. Never train on an empty stomach. Consume a small snack if you train first thing in the morning.
  14. Eat at least three times prior to an afternoon training session.
  15. Avoid fast food. It offers no nutritional value.

Remember, proper nutrition is the key component to accelerating performance gains in the weight room. It must always be taken into account.

Robert Pomazak
- Robert Pomazak, MS, PES, SES, is a NASM-certified performance enhancement and speed specialist. He currently serves as strength and conditioning coordinator at Elk Grove High...
Robert Pomazak
- Robert Pomazak, MS, PES, SES, is a NASM-certified performance enhancement and speed specialist. He currently serves as strength and conditioning coordinator at Elk Grove High...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

Breaking Down Eddie Lacy's Untacklable Performance

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

Sumo Deadlift for Football Strength

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

The Training Formula Behind Drew Brees's 5 TD Passes

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

The Boston Cannons'

WATCH: QB Hurdles Defender Into End Zone

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

7 Reasons to See

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

Randy Moss Joins the High School Coaching Ranks

10 NFL Players Who Are Creating Their Own Brands

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

The Case for Red Meat

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Odell Beckham Jr. Can Play Kicker, Too

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

Diet Changes: 5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Plan

The 5 Worst NFL Performances on Thanksgiving

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

7 Inspirational Athletes and Coaches Who Stand Tall

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

Strengthen Your Grip on the Football with 7 Moves

WATCH: The Kicker Did What?

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

WATCH: 11-Year-Old Girl QB Schools Her Opponents

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

Foods for Athletes: Top Trends for 2014

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Introducing the Football You Can Throw 100+ Yards

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

3 Nutrition Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make and How to Fix Them

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

Texas High School Team Goes 0-10, Makes Playoffs