Feed the Machine: 15 Healthy Eating Tips for Football Players
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.
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.
- Eat breakfast daily before 9 a.m. Your body is a furnace and should be loaded with fuel to burn throughout the day.
- Eat a minimum of three meals and 2-3 snacks per day.
- Don't go more than 3 or 4 hours without eating.
- Consume post-workout meals within two hours of activity.
- Plan meals ahead. This will allow you to select healthy snack items and avoid being stuck without food.
- Target real, whole and unprocessed food items.
- Eliminate processed meats, fried foods, sugary snacks and heat-and-serve food items.
- Make vegetables, fruits and oats your primary sources of carbohydrates.
- Restrict your intake of starches and grains to post-workout meals only.
- Make water your beverage of choice. Studies show performance decreases occur with as little as two percent dehydration of body weight.
- Monitor your pre-and post-workout weight, and drink 16 ounces of water for every pound lost
- Eat prior to and immediately after training.
- Never train on an empty stomach. Consume a small snack if you train first thing in the morning.
- Eat at least three times prior to an afternoon training session.
- 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.